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Game Safety Institute New Approach To Responsible Gaming

The New Approach To Responsible Gaming By The Game Safety Institute (GSI)

In the ever-expanding landscape of responsible gambling initiatives, Sarah Ramanauskas and Simo Dragicevic bring a fresh perspective with the Game Safety Institute (GSI). With extensive industry experience, including roles with Gambling Integrity, BetKnowmore, and Playtech’s BetBuddy, they aim to redefine player care through a novel approach.

GSI sets out to provide operators with a comprehensive understanding of enhancing the safety, entertainment, and utility aspects of gambling products for consumers. Ramanauskas emphasizes GSI as a foundational resource for operators seeking to align their offerings with customer needs.

The institute’s unique approach involves integrating research insights, with Simo Dragicevic playing a pivotal role in this endeavor. GSI strives to reshape the narrative from merely offering products people want to play to delivering the safest products for players’ enjoyment.

What sets GSI apart is its shift in focus. Unlike traditional models where players are expected to opt-out or select self-management tools, GSI seeks to embed safety mechanisms seamlessly throughout the entire player experience. This approach aims to enhance player protection without imposing burdensome choices on the player.

Game Safety Institute (GSI): Pioneering Product Safety in Gambling

In the realm of consumer protection and regulation, the spotlight has predominantly been on the player, notes Simo Dragicevic. Recognizing the importance of understanding players from various perspectives, he emphasizes the regulatory emphasis on responsible gambling tools.

He cites examples like Gamstop in the UK, streamlining self-exclusion across online operators, and the land-based counterpart SENSE. However, Dragicevic believes that as regulations tighten around players, a point of saturation may be reached.

Beyond the player, factors such as the environment, product features, and identifying harmful gambling behavior come into play. The inception of the Game Safety Institute (GSI) emerged over fish and chips during a lunch meeting. Dragicevic and Sarah Ramanauskas foresaw the next significant development in product safety within the gambling industry.

Being ahead of the curve presents challenges and opportunities. While proving the viability of the concept without jeopardizing a business is crucial, it also allows them to set the standards for future endeavors in the industry.

To kickstart this innovative approach, they surveyed lottery and casino operators globally. The survey focused on gauging operators’ views on product risk and safety, its importance, and the existing measures in place. The responses highlighted the significance of the topic and the need for improvement.

Establishing ground rules to become a center of excellence, GSI aims to be the go-to brand for anyone contemplating product safety in the gambling sphere. Thus, the Game Safety Institute was born.

GSI’s Unique Approach to Assessing Gambling Products

Consider the game of roulette – a classic in various forms. While the fundamental rules remain consistent, the potential risks for players vary significantly across platforms. In a traditional casino, you have the presence of others, a dealer trained to watch for potential issues, and a limited number of spins per minute.

Contrast this with a live dealer platform, offering more frequent spins but lacking the social safeguards of in-person interaction. Fixed-odds betting terminals introduce another dynamic, with faster spin rates. Each variation presents unique considerations.

This prompts the crucial question: How does the Game Safety Institute (GSI) define “unsafe” in the realm of gambling?

Simo Dragicevic explains, “When you think about products, the risk element is really what defines gambling. If you take the risk element away, then it’s not gambling and it takes away a huge part of the experience. Having that element of risk in the product is really important.”

GSI is in the process of developing an assessment framework focusing on game design, marketing, and player education. This framework enables operators to strategically evaluate elements of risk and their impact, offering insights into how different components interact – both positively and negatively.

Additionally, GSI is crafting a product intelligence platform. In the context of slots, suppliers can upload metadata, mechanics, and mathematical aspects. This facilitates a comprehensive assessment, allowing segmentation into different game and playing types.

Revolutionizing Player Care with GSI’s Integrated Approach

GSI’s innovative combination of approaches offers a potent perspective on games, players, and delivery methods like never before. This comprehensive approach provides operators with valuable insights into individual risk factors, fostering sustainable player relationships. The focus shifts from acquiring new players to retaining them, recognizing the cost-effectiveness of keeping a player engaged.

With this holistic, multi-layered approach, the traditional method of delivering Responsible Gambling (RG) becomes obsolete. Instead of relying on separate RG messaging, every element is seamlessly integrated into the overall gaming experience.

Sarah Ramanauskas emphasizes, “We don’t see responsible gambling as being a separate thing outside of the player experience, which is what it is at the moment. It’s about understanding when you get a new customer onto your site, what do they want to do? Why are they there? That’s what the gambling industry should be doing with safer gambling. It’s about baking it into the product.”

Simo Dragicevic adds, “Responsible gambling should be invisible. You shouldn’t have to think about it. Policies should be in place that mean it’s not about squeezing every last drop from that player, and these policies should not be overridden by other aspects of the business. It shouldn’t be ‘oh, use the deposit limits. It’s all on you to set your deposit limit.’ It should be more nuanced.

Balancing Responsibility and Profit: A Delicate Equation for Operators

While operators face the genuine risk of losing valuable players to competitors when acting responsibly, the quarterly dividend often steers short-term decision-making. However, Sarah Ramanauskas emphasizes the importance of considering all stakeholders, including staff.

She points out, “Yes, one group of stakeholders are the shareholders – but another key group are your staff. If the gambling industry wants to attract and retain really good staff, they need to show that they are doing the right thing by their players.

If your employees feel that they are being forced to make the wrong decisions, to make moral choices when they’re trying to persuade players to spend more than they can afford, then you will have very high staff turnover and dissatisfied employees – and you won’t be able to attract the best talent.”

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Kahnawake Gaming Commission is a gaming regulatory body that regulates:

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The Kahnawake Gaming Commission was established in June 1996. Ensuring fairness following the highest principles of honesty and integrity.

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