The authorities have shown their support for the most important program dedicated to responsible gaming in Romania
“Responsible Gambling”, the project developed by ROMSLOT and Romanian Bookmakers associations, also known as the only program of its kind in Romania, has opened this year’s Entertainment Arena Expo with the “Identifying and addressing problem gamblers” training, a practical workshop dedicated to gambling operators. The event offered information for a better management of potential problems occurring in gaming halls.
More than 50 operators took part in the workshop. The event’s great success proves the interest that the industry takes in the social responsibility topic, its involvement willingness and also serves as proof of the market’s maturity.
The seminar was organized with the support of the Romania’s National Gambling Office (ONJN) as Odeta Nestor, ONJN President, opened the workshop with a hot topic among operators: the legal implications of responsible gambling and the public interest foundation, stipulated in the new Romanian gambling law.
“Responsible gaming is a common responsibility for all of us, including the government, the operators of the gaming industry, the associations, the NGOs, and the players. Our interest is not only to have a growing business, but also to have a healthy and well-balanced growing industry. I assure you that Romania’s National Gambling Office (ONJN) will continue to be a reliable partner who will militate in favor of a healthy industry and community. Moreover, we want to make sure that the «responsible gaming» expression is not just a paradox.”, declared Odeta Nestor, President of Romania’s National Gambling Office.
The event was conducted as a part of the “Responsible Gambling” program and was hosted by Dr. Cristian Andrei, consultant of the program and Dr. Leliana Pârvulescu, program coordinator. Thus, the best experts on responsible gaming in Romania offered practical advice on gambling problems situations that operators may face in their halls.
“I am glad to see that the gambling industry is willing to get involved in the gaming problems topic. Being able to identify the persons who face this problem may lead to a faster fix of the case. The “Responsible Gambling” program will continue to develop and find new ways of supporting the players who encounter gaming problems.” says the well – known psihiatrist Dr. Cristian Andrei, “Responsible Gambling” consultant.
“The workshop that we organised at Earena 2015 came as a natural development of the program. We are constantly trying to find ways to get closer to problem gamblers and offer them real help. If last year we organized an international seminar, dedicated to the “Responsible Gambling” team of experts, which was designed in the form of a best practices exchange event between some of the best European specialists in the gaming problem field, this year we shifted our attention to operators and gaming halls staff. A gaming problem identified in its debut can be more easily treated.” says Dr. Leliana Pârvulescu coordinator of the “Responsible Gambling” program.
The workshop treated topics such as:
• The importance of responsible behavior for sustainable development of the industry
• Problem gamblers identification by the gaming halls’ staff lobby staff
• Approaching & helping the problem gamblers
The event was organized in the context of the new Romanian gambling law, which stipulates that a public interest foundation must be created whose main objective will be to respect the measures on socially responsible gambling. Moreover, ONJN advisory board members, upon request, can be part of it. A fund will be set up and all licensed gaming organizers will be required to contribute to it. The amounts collected by the Gambling Addiction Prevention Fund will be used for activities and protection programs, prevention and treatment of gambling addiction, responsible gaming advertising, fast and efficient disputes solving between a gaming organizer and a gambler, all under conditions and in accordance with the procedure established by the ONJN President.
The industry position towards responsible gaming
“I have always sustained the message that gambling should only be seen as a form of entertainment. We firmly believe that a successful, sustainable business can be built only according to a responsible strategy. Therefore we have taken actions supporting responsible behavior without any legal constraints. The seminar held at EArena is another proof of the industry’s involvement desire”, said Valentina Dobre, ROMSLOT Vicepresident.
“The client that our operators want to see in their locations is the one that plays for fun, the one that is able to play only the amount that he can afford, without unbalacing its personal budget and the one who, in the end, smiles, whether he looses or wins. Like any other business, the gambling business can’t be built on unhappy clients. Therefore, perhaps even more important than treating the problem gamblers, is the actions in raising awareness that gambling is just a form of entertainment.”, said Doru Gheorghiu, Romanian Bookmakers Executive Director.
The “Identifying and addressing problem gambler” workshop was initiated by the coordinators of “Responsible Gambling” project with the support of the Romania’s National Gambling Office.
RESPONSIBLE GAMING – A 3 years reference point in Romania on gaming problems
“Responsible Gambling”, the project developed by ROMSLOT and Romanian Bookmakers, is the only program that provides real help for problem gamblers and their families.
The program has a national coverage and psychology clinics in Bucharest, Cluj and Iasi, but any person from Romania can receive specialized counseling though a free of charge HELPLINE.
The “Responsible Gambling” program benefits from the experience of the best specialists in Romania in treating gaming problems, forming a team of 12 psychologists, from which the well-known psihiatrist Dr. Cristian Andrei is part of.
The level of expertise of the “Responsible Gambling” program was confirmed by psychologists involved in major similar programs implemented in the UK and Italy, at the international seminar “BEST PRACTICES IN APPROACHING GAMING PROBLEMS”, held in 2014 in Bucharest. The event’s purpose was the exchange of best practices between some of the best European specialists in problem gaming and establishing a parallel between the Romanian, Italian and English programs’ development. The event highlighted the local development of the “Responsible Gambling” program at comparable standards to similar programs in western Europe.
What does the “Responsible Gambling” program offer?
1. A free of charge HELPLINE (0800.800.099), through which the gamblers can contact a psychologist and receive free telephone counseling.
2. Free evaluation and counseling sessions at one of the program’s clinics. Following the phone counseling, the gamblers can ask to be redirected to the closest psychologist in Bucharest, Iasi and Cluj.
3. Online self-testing on www.jocresponsabil.ro.
4. Information materials in gaming halls.
5. Training courses for employees held by the program’s psychologists.