Pensioner Turned Online Gambling Addict Gets The Shock Of Her Life

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling News | Thursday 4 October 2012 2:17 am

Nothing in moderation is actually bad for anyone, but human nature being what it is can certainly play tricks on us. Addiction happens to be one of the nasty tricks that human nature plays. It is not the end of the world, and no-one is alone in this, and it is for this very important reason that all responsible UK online gambling site offer links to GambleAware, GameCare and so on.

While online gambling operators are in this industry to make a living, this does not mean to say that they wish to do this at the expense of humanity. These operators provide a service for people who what this service, people will ALWAYS gamble and always have; this is also an intrinsic part of human nature, just like many forms of entertainment are. In most parts of the world, gambling is entrenched in the culture, much like bingo is as British as bangers and mash.

Speaking of bingo in the context of this subject, one little story we recently read, brings home what we mean when we say that gambling is not the problem, people are the problem. We have to be adults to play bingo online, so, we should behave like responsible adults would and not be daft about it. One pensioner from North Shields took things a little too far and received the shock of her life. Fortunately she got a fright and realised things had to change.

This pensioner, turned jackpot chaser, instead of just having fun playing a few games and then packing it in, actually turned to fraud and to loan sharks to manage (if you could call this "manage") her gambling debt.

She says she became hooked on playing bingo and gambling online after losing her job – supposedly she had too much time on her hands – or this is what she told the courts. Is it true what they say – "idle hands do the Devils work"?

The sixty-three year old enjoyed some moderate success, and spurred on by this, instead of simply enjoying her good luck, allowed things to rage out- of- control. After turning to loan sharks who threatened her to recover their debt, she actually committed fraud by selling an investment property before filing for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy trustees picked up the sale and the £35 000 profit she made; this was where the police were called in. You can’t make £35K and thereafter file for bankruptcy.

Yes, she was threatened by the loan sharks to return their money, and had to pay stupid amounts of interest, which just goes to show that her stupidity was quite simply two-fold.
Living life in the hope of catching a big jackpot is not what online gambling is about. It is about having a bit of fun, within a players means, and if Lady Luck is on your side and you win. Thank the fates. If not, pack it in and don’t get out of control.

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eCOGRA to Participate in the EGBA Responsible Gaming Day

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Gambling News | Wednesday 19 October 2011 5:03 am

Members of the European Parliament and top online gaming operators will attend October 19 roundtable discussions

The critical topic of responsible gambling will be front and centre of European gambling discussions on October 19, when the influential trade body European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) holds its Responsible Gaming Day in Brussels.

With the European Parliament´s final vote on its draft Report on Online Gambling due in November, the event is expected to attract a substantial audience, bringing together EU and national officials, regulators, experts and academia, and stakeholders representing the broad spectrum of the European gaming industry and player representatives.

The Report is widely expected to influence the European Commission´s follow up to the Green Paper consultation.

Among the experts involved is Andrew Beveridge, Chief Executive of the independent player protection and industry standards organisation eCOGRA, who recently chaired the process to develop a CEN Workshop Agreement for Responsible Remote Gambling Measures (CWA 16259:2011).

"Given the current interest by regulators, operators and other industry stakeholders in further developing common standards for player protection, this is an ideal time to reflect on the success of the CEN Workshop Agreement initiative, which involved over 30 participants from trade associations, licensing authorities, operators and leading academic experts on gambling behaviour," he said.

Beveridge added that already this year over 30 tier one European operators and software suppliers, including the EGBA Members and eCOGRA Safe and Fair sealholders, have voluntarily elected to implement the 134 evidence-based measures developed by CEN aimed at ensuring player protection and responsible operator behaviour, and are being annually audited to demonstrate full compliance.

Based on audit evidence and player feedback, it is evident that these measures are proving highly effective, and as the first Pan-European agreement aimed at providing a high level of player protection in the European Union, this will provide a valuable contribution to any further efforts to develop common standards.

Joachim Haeusler, Responsible Gaming Manager at digital entertainment, said that for the effective prevention of gambling-related problems it is important that operators use clearly defined measures and are audited regularly for compliance.

"Being among the first operators to adopt the CWA 16259:2011 measures, urges all responsible operators – private as well as state-owned – to adhere to clear player protection measures that are properly audited to ensure a safe gaming environment ," he said.

Malcolm Harbour MEP, Conservative Chairman of the European Parliament of the internal market and consumer protection committee, added: "Our recently adopted report on online gambling has shown that there is a clear support for common standards for consumer protection at EU level. These are a positive step towards establishing a single market regime for responsible and safe gambling and they will benefit consumers, industry as well as the Single Market."

Dr. Gerhard Bühringer, Professor for Addiction Research at the Technische Universität in Dresden said that the CWA 16259:2011 measures provide an important first step towards better protection of vulnerable gamblers and the prevention of underage gambling.

He added that protection measures should be further discussed, and – in addition to external and independent regular audits for all public and private gambling opportunities – a scientific analysis and evaluation under everyday conditions is essential to determine the efficacy of all protection measures, as a basis for possible further improvements.

Following the roundtable discussions, Tex Rees, who manages eCOGRA’s initiatives in responsible gambling and the organisation’s disputes mediation service, will be presenting a live demonstration of the internet tools that are available to identify and protect vulnerable players.

Her demo will illustrate to delegates how the CWA 16259:2011 measures have been implemented by the EGBA Members, demonstrating how the measures work to ensure player protection and responsible operator behaviour, how the requirements are regularly audited, and the results of recent studies on the effectiveness of the measures.

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eCOGRA Takes Responsible Gambling To Operators

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Gambling News | Monday 17 January 2011 11:01 am

In her responsible gambling reportage to eCOGRA’s Independent Directors this month, Fair Gaming Advocate Tex Rees reveals that last year the player protection organisation carried out responsible gambling training at operator bases instead of at its London head office.

Eight international operator and software provider bases were visited by the eCOGRA team for the full day sessions, which trained a total of 268 employees, Rees reported.

Typical training sessions included:

    • Problem gambling awareness
      Social responsibility
      Responsible gambling regulations and requirements
      Interaction with the player
      Dealing with problem gamblers
  • "We used to host the training at a single location with a small number of delegates attending from a number of different operators," Rees notes. "The delegates were then tasked with training their staff when they returned to their companies.

    "We now provide this important training at operators’ sites as a far more cost effective way to reach more employees directly and properly train those who are on the front line and are most likely to initially deal with problem gamblers.

    "This also allows staff to discuss problems they have experienced in specific circumstances and receive professional feedback. The training is designed particularly for staff who interact with customers, such as call centre representatives and VIP department employees, but is also of value to staff in the marketing, retention, fraud & risk departments," she said.

    "Delivering the training at the operator’s premises additionally helps us to customise the training to the operator’s brands and to meet any specific needs that have been noted at that level."

    Taking the initiative to the front line has been a popular move, according to a number of complimentary assessments from operators. A typical report from a Betclic employee attending the course assessed the course as being informative and interesting.

    "It definitely deepened my understanding of spotting the triggers for problem gambling and confirmed the importance of making available a range of responsible gambling tools for vulnerable players," the delegate wrote.

    Andrew Beveridge, chief executive officer of eCOGRA, said that training staff to deal professionally and sensitively with responsible gambling issues was a critical element in any gambling environment, and was regarded as a priority in the eCOGRA standards for best operational practice.

    "The percentage of gamblers who develop a problem may be relatively small – around 2 percent – but these are vulnerable members of society and they deserve appropriate and sympathetic but firm treatment by properly trained staff," he said. "These training initiatives have proved increasingly popular, and we expect to extend our coverage in this area further in the future."

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