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Responsible Gambling Awareness Day

By: Ryan Alders, Tuesday October 20th 2009
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The online gambling industry in conjunction with associations like the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) and GamCare had decided to designate and celebrate October 19, 2009 as Responsible Gambling Awareness Day. The online gambling industry and its administrators are aware of the need to disseminate information on responsible gambling. Yesterday several of the leading organizations took significant steps in this regard.

The RGA unveiled a video in London demonstrating how the online gambling industry exhibits and promotes responsible gambling. The video showed how online casinos use technology to protect sensitive consumer information, help players to identify problem gambling symptoms and prevent underage customers from wagering at the casinos. At the release of the video Clive Hawkswood, CEO of the RGA, said "We hope our five minute tutorial will provide (lawmakers) with a quick insight into how operators ensure that for the vast majority, gambling remains a safe and harmless leisure activity." The RGA also donated $16,000 to Gambling Therapy, which is an international online help service for problem gamblers.

GamCare held its annual conference to coincide with the Responsible Gambling Awareness Day. In a new initiative GamCare announced that the world boxing champion Chris Eubank will be its brand ambassador. Eubank was present at the conference and said that before accepting this role he had acquainted himself with the work that GamCare does. He added, "I am delighted to add punch to GamCare's excellent work with problem gamblers and their families. I know from my own experience how easy it can be to be sucked into the gambling habit – and also how difficult it is to admit you have a problem and ask for help." He pledged his total support to the cause.

The industry leaders were also in the forefront at GamCare's conference. Betfair was one of the sponsors. Betfair Managing Director Mark Davies pointed out that the online gambling operators are concerned with responsible gambling not only on special occasions like this one but all 365 days of the year. He said, "For the small minority of people who may need to seek help at any point in their lives we make sure that they have the tools, advice and support they need to overcome a problem gambling issue."

Gerry Sutcliffe, Minister for Sport in the United Kingdom, commended the online gaming industry for holding a Responsible Gambling Awareness Day. He complimented the industry's initiative to promote responsible gambling and stressed the importance of funding the research and treatment of problem gambling. Sutcliffe was hopeful that the initiative would reach out to both consumers and operators and he expected that the Responsible Gambling Awareness Day would become an annual feature.

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