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4. What should a positive and safe gambling environment look like?

The challenge

A retail shop is designed to make the experience of gambling fun and exciting. However these same aspects can make it difficult for customers to absorb important responsible gambling messages. This table asked what an ideal shop environment would look like – to help customers stay informed and in control in ways that keep the experience enjoyable. If we could design a positive and controlled gambling environment from the ground up, what would that look like? And what can we do to start moving towards that?

The discussion

There was a huge amount of energy and ideas on the opportunity in retail shops to encourage safe and positive play.

Everyone agreed that more needs to be done to make existing responsible gambling messaging more appealing and more accessible in shops. And operators can take the same skills that are put into designing a great customer experience in the shop and use them to design a safe customer experience in that environment.

Consistency in how staff interact with customers was another big theme that came up in the discussion, to help all shop staff provide the same level of support and service to customers showing risky behaviours – for example, through an accredited responsible gambling training scheme or even a new buddy system. These new ideas might help overcome one of the biggest challenges to providing the best gambling environment for customers – shops where there’s only one employee to support all customers.

There was a lot of excitement around the idea of trialling new ideas across a number of operators in a single geographic area. Whether it’s something small, like updating responsible gambling language, or something big, like mandatory account-based play – participants were keen to put to the test some of those promising new ideas.

Top solutions

  • Put marketing muscle behind a refresh of responsible gambling messaging and interactions in shops – to be positive, clear, impactful and easy to use
  • Devise local pilots to test new products or responsible gambling mechanics, involving all operators in a given town or city to ensure robust findings
  • Create a new role, ‘responsible gambling customer experience’, within operators to ensure a joined-up approach in shops