Reflecting on the Sustainable Gambling Conference 2021

Wed, 13 Oct, 2021

Sustainable Gambling Conference 2021 was the most successful one to date. Taking place online, it allowed over 800 registered to tune in to the conference, something that hasn’t previously been possible with a physical setting. Prior to this year’s conference, Maris Catania, Head of Responsible Gambling and Research, and Kristina Grewin, Interim Sustainability Manager gave us their predictions and expectations of the day. Now, they give us their thoughts on whether their expectations were met on 5th October 2021.

Kristina, this was your first Sustainable Gambling Conference. What are your thoughts about the day?

I have to say, organising it was quite a tough job, but I enjoyed seeing all the hard work pay off.  The day was great, and the topics were engaging and brilliant. I particularly liked how we incorporated different topics, such as the ‘nudging’ theory and insights from Facebook, to learn about other industries and how we can apply it to the gambling industry.

Kristina, you also said you wanted to achieve a transparent and honest dialogue. Do you feel that this was achieved?

I am very happy with the outcome of the conference and I enjoyed watching every part of it. I think the participants were all very transparent and the dialogue was in fact honest, even though it wasn’t easy at times. So I do feel we achieved our aim, yes.

Maris, the theme for this year’s conference was ‘Shared Responsibility.' How was that highlighted throughout the day?

I think this was quite evident through the different speakers, panels, and breakout sessions. My only hope now is that several points that were discussed are followed up by the different stakeholders. It was also good to see speakers with very different backgrounds having the opportunity to discuss and present topics.

Maris, if you were to recommend only one of the sessions, which one would it be?

I cannot do that for sure! Each session contained amazing content. It is such a great thing to be able to have a place where leading researchers, experts by experience, students and industry representatives can discuss important topics together in one place. 

Kristina, for those who didn’t have time to attend the conference, is there a possibility to watch it now?

Yes, of course, and this is also the case if you didn’t manage to catch all the breakout sessions. All of the material is now on www.sustainablegambling.com, so you can watch it any time that you wish. 

Maris, what happens now?

It will be a long wait until next year.  We need to learn and look at the discussions through the key takeaways to implement changes.  If we simply listen and not do anything, this would just be another session where people discussed things with no action and that is not the purpose of the conference. For us, this is ongoing work.

The very last question is to both of you. What are your key takeaways from the conference?

  • We need to take an active role and not blame others. Although everyone needs to be part of the change, we should start looking at what we are doing.
  • Nudging and how such small changes can have positive and significant effects.  These can work really well with persuasive technology techniques.
  • The importance of lived experience and how we can learn more just by listening to these stories. These may also result in great tools such as DBYLOI (Don´t Bet Your Life On It).
  • Research initiatives using anonymized data can help implement new consumer protection initiatives

Find out more on www.sustainablegambling.com