HomeIn-depthFEG: “The judges made us realize how sensitive RG is and how careful we must be”

FEG: “The judges made us realize how sensitive RG is and how careful we must be”

6 min. read
FEG Casino Guru Awards 2024

Fortuna Entertainment Group won the Most Impactful Social Responsibility Initiative as part of the Casino Guru Awards 2024. We used the opportunity to immediately catch up with the company and pick their brain on how they felt about winning, what the challenging parts of the process were, and what would change as a result. We were pleased to find out that Fortuna has decided to strengthen their responsible gambling training of both employees and players, have garnered a new appreciation for how important and sensitive responsible gambling is, and that its proper execution acts not hollow promises. Dive into our full conversation with Fortuna Entertainment Group below.

Q: What are your immediate impressions from winning the Casino Guru Awards – how does it feel, and were you surprised by the final pick?

Yes, we were very surprised. Although we are very proud of our initiative, we realize how many other companies have a great Responsible Gaming Program (RG) and are constantly trying to do something new in this area, so we really didn't hope to succeed in such a strong competition.

Q: Could you tell us a bit more about your nomination and how the process went for you, and why do you think your proposal impressed the judges the most?

I believe that the decisive factor was the effort to unite the entire market in our region and strive for change together with other companies. It is true that any collaboration, even for a good cause, is difficult in our industry, so we are very proud to have managed to convince the other major competitors to adopt the same safer gaming rules as FEG through obligatory RG code of conduct, even though it was a purely professional initiative and not a regulatory requirement.

Q: Did you have a moment when you realized during the application and judging process that you could have done something better?

Yes, that's exactly what flashed through my mind once when I was describing to the jury the different types of interactions we have with players. For general education about existing RG tools (limits, self-exclusion, scheduled breaks), we use both interactive descriptions and fun campaigns that describe this possibility through humorous dialogue between the actors we hired for the spots.

One of the judges asked me if I was afraid that this means that we somehow trivialize the RG issue and consider it funny. This stunned me for a while, and I once more realized how sensitive this topic is and how careful we must be when we convey this issue to the public. One bad word, an inappropriate interpretation, or an insensitive operator and all our efforts to make a difference is ruined.

That's why I decided that I have to further strengthen the training not only of employees who are in daily contact with the players, but also throughout the whole company. We currently use addiction specialists to train our "first line of defense" in general and crisis communication.

At the same time, after the client's consent, we connect the interested party directly to the line of our cooperating addiction specialists. But it is necessary for every single employee of our company to realize that playing can very quickly cease to be fun, and then it is necessary to approach each client individually, sensitively and help him regain control over the game.

Q: What is the most difficult aspect of ensuring that a social responsibility initiative hits its mark?

The most difficult thing was and is to convince the regulators and the public that a proper RG program is not just about empty words, but that a good operator does not hesitate to give up part of his profit for the benefit of people who have been negatively affected by gaming and in no way supports players who are at risk of losing control over the game. I believe that if we gain that trust, we as a gaming industry will come together and create a program that will protect players from the negative aspects of gaming.

For example, in the Czech and Slovak Republics, together with other operators, we created a working group consisting of representatives of each company, which creates unified makers of harm for the entire market, so that all operators proceed uniformly in monitoring and protecting players, so it shouldn’t happen that the player will be considered risky in one company and will be offered the option to opt out and in other company, he will be encouraged to play by weekly bonus.

Q: How do you think you benefited from participating in the Casino Guru Awards, and do you feel there is a notable difference between the Casino Guru Awards format and other industry awards?

I appreciate that the Casino Guru Awards format aims at evaluating companies that do something extra to protect the players and aims at the fairness and transparency of gaming operators, unlike some other awards formats in our industry, where prizes are awarded mostly for design of games or applications and player protection is only a secondary competition. It was an honor to meet industry colleagues whom I respect and have an enriching discussion with them on possibilities of player protection that inspired me to continue and expand our initiative.

Q: Would you be interested in continuing and applying for the Casino Guru Awards next year?

Yes, we will definitely follow this event and if we have the opportunity to participate in one of the categories again next year, we will be happy to do so.

Image credit: Casino Guru News

18 Mar 2024
6 min. read
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