British And Irish Cooperation
Cooperation between industries in the two countries is welcome, particularly with questions around their future relationship at this time unanswered. As Brexit negotiations rumble on, the gambling industry is showing the value of cooperation, collaboration and unity.
In Ireland, the Irish Bookmakers Association led the event alongside the Irish Amusement Trade Association, Horse Racing Ireland and the Irish Greyhound and Horse Racing Tote, with 6,000 or so staff involved in events. Gambling operators, amusement arcades, race tracks and online operators joined forces in promoting responsible gambling across a range of initiatives, showing combined strength.
Joining Forces For 2018
In 2017, the countries held separate weeks to promote responsible gambling to customers and staff. Sharon Byrne, Chairperson of the Irish Bookmakers Association, was proud to have been part of the move to join forces, commenting that she was pleased to be part of a movement focusing on “having that conversation, raising awareness on gambling responsibly, and on how to access help or support for those who need it.”
Industry bodies in both countries felt that by merging their campaigns they could create a greater impact. And feedback from those inside and outside of the industry following the events is that they have succeeded in that mission.
The signs are positive as we look towards continuing collaboration next year. Events and campaigns hosted by businesses and organisations taking part promoted a unified message: ‘Let’s Talk About Responsible Gambling’. Initiatives included staff training on responsible gambling and the dangers of the industry as well as events designed to draw attention to the initiative and the conversation.
The campaigns drew on the traction of increased conversation around mental health issues, highlighting the importance of sharing problems and concerns. Industry players were encouraged to recognise their responsibilities to their customers to protect them from abusive practices, both pursuant to regulation and otherwise.