As Regal Gaming Technologies, leading UK supplier of amusement machines, becomes the latest member of the Merkur UK group to complete the G4 Responsible Gambling audit, Merkur UK General Manager, Sascha Blodau underlines the importance of living the safer gambling philosophy
Merkur UK, which has taken a sector leading role in its commitment to safer gambling has confirmed that Regal Gaming Technologies has become the latest of its brands to complete and pass the internationally recognised Global Gambling Guidance Group (G4) audit of Responsible Gambling (RG) practices. The audit, which covers key topics including RG training, customer support and RG marketing guidelines, was overseen by international responsible gambling expert Pieter Remmers who founded the G4 consultancy and has worked throughout the world helping with the development of responsible gaming policy in jurisdictions across Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa.
Reflecting on the successful audit, Andy Bell, Regal’s joint managing director stated: “Regal operates 15,000 pieces of amusement machines from nine regional depots and employs 360 staff - and whilst the business is not directly consumer-facing we believe it’s vital that every aspect of the Merkur UK operation understands what’s meant by safer gambling, appreciates the importance of the safer gambling culture and that as a company we have all of the correct procedures, practices and protocols in place. The G4 audit was a really worthwhile experience and one which in my opinion has enriched both the brand and our people.”
Sascha Blodau, General Manager, Merkur UK believes safer gambling is an ‘all in’ commitment. He explained: “When we launched the 360 Program nearly two years ago I was very public in my stated objective for Merkur UK to be the very best exponents of safer gambling in our sector. This means being 100 percent committed and therefore extending awareness and protocols throughout the Group – even to the teams at Blueprint Operations and most recently at Regal who do not have contact with amusement machines players.
“We see safer gambling as being something that a business and its employees practices every minute of every day and can be broken down into a programme of tangible actions supported by a culture that every member of the team understands and lives. Through the launch of our ‘360 Safer Gambling’ Program we have built a dynamic project of initiatives to engage with all of the Merkur UK team, to review how we improve our safer gambling undertakings and instil a culture of continuous improvement. We have laid the foundation stones as we establish the gold standard for safer gambling in our sector, deliver a safe gambling experience to every customer and share the outcomes of our endeavours with both our colleagues in international jurisdictions as well as other gaming businesses on the UK high street.”
The Merkur UK 360 Program comprises a dynamic 52-week a year commitment underpinned by an evolving programme of initiatives and investment in people. Key activities have included the launch of the Merkur Portal - a tool for in-venue staff that provides an additional touchpoint for safer gambling insight and information, running a continuous programme of Customer Experience groups in order to gain an insight on techniques implemented by players to gamble safely and within their means, providing all Venue Managers with City and Guilds Assured safer gambling training run by YGAM and Betknowmore, consumer surveys to measure progress as well as the sharing of information and safer gambling insight with industry bodies including the bacta Social Responsibility Exchange and via GamCare’s Land Based Working Group.
Sascha Blodau concluded: “We agree with organisations including the Gambling Commission and the DCMS that safer gambling is a journey that does not have a final destination: there will always be a requirement to do more which in turn underlines the importance of our 360 Program, the role of the 360 Advisory Group in ensuring that we are always exploring new initiatives and the C-Level commitment that the Merkur 360 Program enjoys. Quite simply safer gambling is good for business.