“Our collaboration with Clarion Gaming focuses on achieving key objectives that reflect our shared vision”

In November, ICE London organizer Clarion Gaming confirmed the selection of the US-based International Center for Responsible Gaming (ICRG) as its new Charity Partner following applications received from a total of 24 not-for-profit organizations active in the safer gambling space.

Established in 1996 ICRG has provided independent, peer-reviewed research to help increase the understanding of gambling harms and find effective methods of mitigation. Work undertaken by the ICRG is impacting public policy and strengthening responsible gambling.

As ICE opened the doors for its last London edition on Tuesday, the ICRG’s Director of Tribal Nations Relations and Communications, Nicole Scott, explained what the partnership means for the charity in an interview shared by Clarion.

What does it mean to be named Clarion Gaming Charity Partner of the Year and how will you be using ICE to promote the organization?

Being named Clarion Gaming Charity Partner of the Year is a tremendous honor and a testament to our dedicated efforts over the past 25 years. This award acknowledges our consistent effort in using evidence-based research to reduce harm to gamblers.

At ICE, our President, Art Paikowsky, will chair the program at the consumer protection zone and be a panelist during one of the sessions. This event provides Art with excellent networking opportunities, starting from the opening reception on Tuesday evening. He will also appear on several broadcasts during the conference.

Have you set yourself some key objectives as a result of the relationship with Clarion Gaming? And what does success look like?

Our collaboration with Clarion Gaming focuses on achieving key objectives that reflect our shared vision. Success in this venture means making meaningful strides in promoting responsible gaming practices and creating a better understanding of the consistent quality of our research and the educational efforts we deploy to advance critical findings.

These efforts aim to benefit the industry and the wider community, creating a ripple effect of positive change and responsible conduct across the sector.

Will this be your first appearance at ICE and what are your perceptions of the event/what are you expecting?

While this won’t be our first appearance at ICE, our enthusiasm remains as high as ever. ICE is a premier platform for networking, sharing insights, and keeping abreast of industry trends. We anticipate encountering innovative technologies, engaging in thought-provoking discussions, and forging partnerships that align with and enhance our mission.

These interactions are vital for guiding our initiatives and broadening our impact. Attendees need to realize the critical role of our peer-reviewed, scientifically valid research in shaping sustainable industry practices.

What’s the next big piece of research that you will be publishing?

To better understand the role of ICRG, we create a pool of resources designed to support the work of investigators committed to a better understanding of gambling disorders and gambling problems. A separate Scientific Advisory Board oversees research funding decisions. This firewall precludes any concerns about the integrity of the research.

The investigators are responsible for ensuring that the study findings are published. One of our studies on sports wagering, expected to conclude in early 2024, is attracting considerable interest due to its potential impact on our understanding of safe gambling practices.

How important is it that gambling legislation is evidence-based as opposed to being politically motivated? 

Advocating for evidence-based gambling legislation is a cornerstone of our approach. Such policies, grounded in empirical data and thorough research, lead to more effective and balanced regulatory frameworks. This approach serves the best interests of all stakeholders and plays a crucial role in creating a safer, more responsible gambling environment. It’s a stride towards ensuring that decision-making is informed, fair, and conducive to long-term positive outcomes.

Further, much of what is presented as research needs to follow the necessary rigors and be published, so maintaining the highest standards, a hallmark of ICRG-funded research, is especially important.

In 2018 ICE made history when in it became the first trade expo to feature a Consumer Protection Zone – how significant is it for a gambling expo to have an area dedicated to safer gambling?

The Consumer Protection Zone at ICE is a pivotal initiative in promoting safer gambling practices. It symbolizes the industry’s commitment to protecting vulnerable individuals and underscores the importance of responsible gaming. This dedicated space is more than just a feature of the event; It is critically important to promote this space and ensure that we are not preaching to the choir.

Key informants in the C suite should be encouraged to come by to learn about the innovations in responsible gaming practices.