Kindred will host the 8th Sustainable Gambling Conference on 20 March at Kia Oval in London. The conference aims to gather experts from within and outside the industry to share ideas and views to ensure a sustainable and safe industry. The theme of the 2024 conference is “Safer Gambling: A Look into the Future”.
The conference has earned its reputation as a hub for meaningful dialogue, bringing together subject matter experts from various sectors within and beyond the gambling industry. We gathered some of our colleagues at Kindred who are all involved in the conference: Esther Scheepers, Head of Responsible Gaming; Sanna van Doorn, Head of Corporate Affairs Netherlands; Daria Magdoiu, RG Governance Manager; and Maris Catania, who acts as Responsible Gambling consultant at Kindred, to hear their thoughts and also to get inside tips on what not to miss at this year’s conference.
It is the eight-time Kindred stands host for the Sustainable Gambling Conference. Esther started our session by telling us about the purpose behind the conference.
-The Sustainable Gambling Conference, SGC, aims to provide a platform that fosters discussions among diverse industry stakeholders. It aims to address strategies ensuring both customers' well-being and businesses' longevity in the gambling sector. This conference convenes top academics, researchers, gambling operators, psychologists, regulators, therapists, community representatives, and treatment agencies collectively to deliberate on building a sustainable, enduring gambling industry.
One of the main reasons for arranging the first conference in 2016, which was then called ‘The Responsible Gambling Conference’ was that I was speaking to a few Responsible Gambling Managers from other companies in Malta, and they mentioned that they’d never attended Responsible Gambling Conferences explains Maris Catania. Said conferences in this field were expensive or always abroad. So, I thought, let’s do a conference here in Malta. I teamed up with the local treatment centre and asked a few friends in the industry to come as speakers.
The number of attendees shows that the conference has been a success. The last conference in Amsterdam gathered around 250 delegates, and approximately 400 attended online. Daria Magdoiu explains that one of the reasons the response from stakeholders has been very positive is due to the diverse range of relevant industry topics that are catered for, allowing for engagement with current affairs. She explains that stakeholders value the opportunities for networking and interacting with various industry representatives. A prevalent theme highlighted by many stakeholders is the emphasis on Responsible Gambling. Notably, the discussions involving experts by experience received appreciation at the conference in Amsterdam in 2022, highlighting the significance stakeholders place on this vital aspect.
Every year the conference has a designated theme. Esther Scheepers explains that the conference's theme is determined by focusing on relevance to current industry happenings and identifying learning opportunities. The aim is to ensure that the chosen themes align with the industry's ongoing developments, providing attendees with pertinent and valuable insights. Sanna van Doorn continues: For this year’s edition of the Sustainable Gambling Conference, the theme is ‘Safer Gambling: A Look into the Future’. With the upsurge of Artificial Intelligence (AI) across sectors, we felt it was important to delve into the implementation of AI in the gambling industry. In this year’s conference, we focus not only on AI’s potential to advance responsible gambling measures but also on the opportunities for AI regarding affordability and financial risk in the EU. Next to AI and affordability, we have experts focusing on what’s next for the UK White Paper and the markers of harm. When asked what she wants to highlight for this year´s conference, Sanna’s answer comes rapidly: Across Europe, the gambling industry must work with an increasingly difficult regulatory environment. Now, more than ever, it’s important that we unite as an industry and show regulatory and political stakeholders how the gambling industry is fit for the future. One of the key elements is to ensure gambling is and remains safe and responsible.
The Keynote Speakers
Renowned international speakers, including EPIC Global Solutions, Gamban, EGBA, KPMG, Rdentify and TransUnion representatives, will share their insights and experiences during the conference. This year’s keynote speaker, the well-known author Daniel Maté, will accompany them. Maris points out more information about Mr. Maté: His father, Gabor Maté, is a well-known expert on addiction and trauma, and I am glad that this is a topic that we will highlight. Together, Gabor and Daniel have done much work on the topic, including the latest book known as The Myth of Normal. This book shows the importance of us as human beings reconnecting as we are constantly exposed to consumerism and the pressures of modern-day living. This perspective can help stakeholders better understand why big corporations should invest in consumer protection rather than exploit their users.
The conference takes place on the 20 March at Kia Oval in London. The morning sessions will be live streamed for those who cannot attend in person. We asked Sanna about what we shouldn’t miss at the conference. I’m going to give two recommendations. In the morning, the panel discussion with lived experience is something I believe deserves attention from every professional working in the gambling industry. It’s important to never lose sight of the risks that are also associated with online gambling. In the afternoon, the panel discussion on affordability and financial risk ties in closely to European policy developments.
Daria ends our session by explaining that the goal with the conference is for participants to depart from the SGC equipped with valuable takeaways. We aim for attendees to leave with an enriched sense of knowledge, having gained insights from diverse perspectives presented by our esteemed speakers. We also aspire for participants to depart with a sense of motivation and feeling—inspired by the discussions, connections, and shared experiences. The conference's aim throughout the years has been to encourage the participants to work for and support a sustainable and responsible gambling industry.
Visit sustainablegambling.com for more information and to register.