With a president from the industry, the program bearing the same name promises to become the most important argument by which the Romanian gambling will prove its social responsibility.
The governance over the most important social responsibility program on the gambling market will be assured in the following period by Liviu Popovici, a manager with great business expertise acquired at the management of one of the most important organizers.
➤ What is the new entity called and what does it represent?
What is rather new about it is the new legal organization form, respectively the acquirement of the legal personality for the Association «Responsible Gambling».
The purpose of its establishment is mainly represented by the assurance of the independence of the program, which might facilitate the development of new projects so useful on the market. In fact, the Project «Responsible Gambling» represents an initiative that reached maturity now, at 6 years from its start point. We are talking here about a new level of development and not necessarily about the debut of a new entity.
➤ Who are the founder members?
Three professional representation organizations from the gambling industry from Romania: Romanian Bookmakers, Romslot and Rombet. Our intention is to add new members soon, on various membership levels. They may be companies, or Employer organizations … it is essential to reunite as many vectors from the industry as possible, in order to be able to develop new social responsibility projects.
➤ Which is the executive management?
Very recently Mr. Sergiu Sesebi took over the executive manager position. The executive team he will coordinate has broad experience in the development of social responsibility projects. We hope it will soon become a rapid and efficient development engine for the program «Responsible Gambling».
We are also talking about a new executive board of the Association where I will perform together with two other excellent professionals who participated to the launching of the program Responsible Gambling, in 2012: Dan Iliovici, vice-president, who brings us his experience as former president of ONJN and Valentina Dobre, member, with great expertise on the gambling market.
➤ Is this association the solution to the Responsible Gambling issue?
It certainly is the most efficient solution at the moment in Romania, by the program «Responsible Gambling». And, certainly, there is place for developments in the activity performed at present.
The evolutions of the gambling market imposes the on-going adaptation and specialization of those involved in this Association and implicitly the expansion of the range of products deployed and the development of new instruments for assisting the subjects of the program Responsible Gambling. And when I say subjects, I mean both plans, that of the players and that of the organizers also, who both need to be aware of the fact that gambles are and it’s natural to be regarded and treated like an entertaining activity.
➤ What are the work methods you propose?
If you mean the manner of implementation of the projects and activities of the Association «Responsible Gambling», we’ll try to have a permanent collaboration and an intense communication with all those gravitating around this program: players, organizers, specialists of the program and, last, but not least, the relevant state authorities on this subject matter.
Then, we’ll be more and more active in the communication of our actions, both for attracting as many entities as possible in order to support them, and to disseminate the facilities and instruments offered to the gamblers. The last area is very important, because we want the players to know that they can dispose of support at any moment if negative manifestations occur while practicing this form of entertainment.
➤ What are your plans for the near future? But for the far-off future?
We are in the stage of conceiving an action plan which we’ll present in detail soon. As preliminary information, I can tell you that our agenda contains an expansion of the number of partner office, in new cities; therefore an expansion of the team of psychologists specialized in the gambling field. Apart from the quantitative expansion mentioned before we also follow the diversification of the instruments put at the players’ disposal in order to access the program Responsible Gambling.
It is also very important the increased attention the Association will pay to training the gambling organizers so as to raise their involvement in the maintenance of the activity within entertainment levels.
Also, apart from a new series of events performed within the campaign «Trained for majority», we intend to initiate another social campaign for raising the awareness of the effects of incorrect gambling.
And last, but not least, we will develop certain counseling instruments addresses to the issues specific to remote gambling.
➤ Will the entire industry stick to this project?
By the three current members, we can already say that a considerable part of the industry has rallied to the «Responsible Gambling» effort. However, we want to expand this circle, in the meaning of involving other associations and companies in the development of the project as well and I don’t mean only the financial support here, but the effective involvement in the activities.
➤ What is the operators’ opinion?
It is encouraging the fact that more and more organizers acknowledge the importance of the program deployed by the Association.
I do not know any negative opinions within the industry, but we must draw the attention on the fact that not showing any interest for this action area is a negative positioning itself. All the operators must be aware of the importance of the initiative of actually addressing the issue generated by the incorrect gambling.
More and more are doing it, but we intend that, at a given moment, this attitude towards social effects becomes a predominant trait of this industry in Romania.
➤ What is the Authorities’ opinion about this new association?
The program «Responsible Gambling» has always had an optimal collaboration with ONJN, respectively the institution through which the state manifests its authority in the gambling field in Romania. The ONJN management is unconditionally engaged in promoting the responsible gambling principle and idea. From this perspective, we express our trust that the implementation of the Association’s development plan will also secure an actual and good collaboration with the Foundation which is to be established under the ONJN sponsorship, with whom we will want to deploy partnership projects.
➤ What does this project represent for you?
Obviously a challenge, but one that comes with plenty of enthusiasm. Certainly, it is not an unknown for me, since I have been involved from the very beginning in the initiation and development of the program «Responsible Gambling». At personal level, I want to bring in this area the experience gathered as manager of a gambling company and of Employer organizations.
The approach changes, although not fundamentally: a budget to administrate with the purpose of reaching certain objectives which are, indeed, of a different nature this time, a social one.
➤ What should the press do in order to support this project?
To accurately popularize the program and the actions performed by the Association. Obviously, the mass media will always prefer spectacular news, but the spectacular news often represents showing concern about the phenomenon of gambling issues or about the story of a drama caused by gambling. But, if every such news would be accompanied by the free phone line and the internet page put at disposal by the program «Responsible Gambling» for the players with problems, it would mean a huge contribution and it is obviously why.
The “Antrenat de majorat” campaign, premiered in Romania by the Responsible Gambling Association, aims at educating and training adolescents for the age of 18 and implicitly for the first contact with adult entertainment.
“Antrenat de Majorat” promotes among adolescents messages about the risks of engaging in activities that do not correspond to their level of psycho social development, their understanding and correct positioning in relation to the value and winnings of money and how must respond to the temptations of adult entertainment.