Players to benefit from the introduction of a unified Self-Exclusion System
The Responsible Gaming Foundation (RGF) would like to congratulate the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) in its positive initiative of setting up a unified self-exclusion system for all its Remote Gaming licensees. This system will provide players with further protection through the creation of a unified system; a system which will enable players to self-exclude themselves across all licenced gaming channels be it land-based or remote, thus further ensuring the protection of players.
The RGF applauds the introduction of this system, which is of great benefit to all players, especially those players going through psychosocial difficulties and those that are more at risk of pathological gambling. The introduction of these self-exclusion programs, in many international jurisdictions has been associated with several benefits including decreased pathological gambling, increased psychological wellbeing and overall functioning.
The Responsible Gaming Foundation will be working in collaboration with the Ministry for Education and Employment to raise awareness about Responsible Gaming among all year 4 students in Malta and Gozo (state, church and independent schools). This campaign will be delivered through the use of a mascot and in-class activities involving hands-on learning and play.
Students will be able to:
1. Define the concept of Digital Citizenship;
2. Be aware of certain links between different addictions, notable excessive use of internet and gambling;
3. Be aware of the concept of Responsible Gaming.
Campaign Launch: 8th January 2015
Be Smart Online
On Saturday 22nd November Hon. Schembri participated in a conference with the theme:Â â€˜L-Uzu tal-Internet: noholqu esperjenza pozittiva ghall-familja kollhaâ€™. During this conference Hon. Schembri explained the mission and the importance of the foundation in relation to awareness, research and support services about responsible gaming to the parents present.
RGF Presents a 4 year business plan
On Friday November 14 2014, the Responsible Gaming Foundation presented a four-year business plan with the aim of implementing measures promoting responsible gaming.
The measures vary from the promotion of responsible marketing to the drafting of a detailed study portraying a clear picture of Malta’s gaming scenario.
Foundation chairman Hon. Silvio Schembri said that while the gaming industry was one of the biggest contributors to the domestic economy, yet its negative impacts could not be ignored.
Such negative effects would vary from physical and mental health, an individual’s financial situation, his work performance and even personal relationships.
“At EU level, it is estimated that between 0.5% to 2% of those who make use of gaming services end up with some sort of addiction. However, we also believe that these figures may not reflect the true picture due to lack of research,” Hon. Schembri said.
Responsible Gaming Foundation at MiGS
The Responsible Gaming Foundation participated in the Malta iGaming Seminar held at the Hilton Malta on the 11th November 2014. Hon. Silvio Schembri participated in a panel discussion which was hosted by Andre Wilsenach (Executive Director, Alderney Gambling Control Commission). The panel was made up people having expertise in the gaming industry, namely Stella Dalton (Head of Education and Prevention, Gamcare) , Julian Borg (Business Development Manager, Barthet) and Jane Palles (Responsible Gaming Manager, PaddyPower). During this Seminar the panel talked about the importance of Responsible Gaming in today’s businesses.
Responsible Gaming Foundation at SiGMA
The Responsible Gaming Foundation was respresented by Hon. Silvio Schembri at the Malta iGaming Summit held at the Intercontinental Hotel on the 31st October 2014. During this Summit Hon. Schembri discussed the subject of ” Best Practice for Responsible Gaming ” together with Samuel Gauci, Simon Planzer and Sarah Kostense-Winterton.
Dragonara Casino Supports RGF
Dragonara Casino has pledged its support towards the Responsible Gaming Foundation with a contribution of â‚¬10,000. This contribution will be utilised to support educational campaigns aimed at the general public and problem gamblers.
â€œWe firmly believe in a balanced approach to gaming,â€ said Franco de Gabriele â€“ Business Development Director at the Dragonara Casino. â€œGaming is one of the oldest forms of entertainment that must be undertaken in moderation. Excessive gaming can cause problems to various individuals and such problems need to be addressed. We are happy to be doing our part in assisting the Responsible Gaming Foundation in its sterling work to help individuals experiencing such problems. We truly believe that no stone should be left unturned to curb illegal practices and pledge our unconditional support to limit the illegal gambling market which is valued at millions of Euros. â€
â€œIt gives me great satisfaction to see the gaming industry so willing to support The Responsible Gaming Foundation to achieve its objectives,â€ said Parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness and Economic Growth, Dr Joseâ€™ Herrera. â€œWhile the government is committed to continue supporting this industry to grow responsibly, specific initiatives are being implemented so that individuals with a gambling problem will be given all the support they need and at the same time promote responsible gamingâ€.
The Chairman for Responsible Gaming Foundation Malta, Silvio Schembri welcomed the initiative by Dragonara Casino and also revealed that in the coming days the Foundation will present a four year business plan which will show how the foundation will work in order to achieve its goals amongst which to promote responsible consumption of gaming while further entrenching Maltaâ€™s reputation as a responsible jurisdiction. Such efforts are aligned with the main principles of gaming regulation in Malta, namely that gaming shall be conducted in a fair and transparent manner, minors and vulnerable persons are protected, and that gaming is kept free from crime and corruption.Â The foundation will also launch a â€œPlay Responsibility Programmeâ€ which can be enjoyed by the members of the industry who will contribute to this fund.
Maltco Lotteries Supports RGF
During a meeting between Maltco Lotteries and Parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness and Growth Hon. Herrera, Maltco Lotteries presented the â‚¬50,000 contribution to the Hon. Herrera which will be administered by the Responsible Gaming Foundation. So far the company has already presented â‚¬100,000 to this fund. Dr Katakis said that Responsible Gaming is a very important subject and thus the company handles this subject with diligence.
Hon. Silvio Schembri appointed Chairman
Labour MP Silvio Schembri has been appointed chairman of the Responsible Gaming Foundation, an independent institution which was set up earlier this year with the scope of helping, educating and preventing problems related to gambling.
Hon. Schembri has a Masterâ€™s degree in economy and teaches part time at the University of Malta. He was a founding member and general manager of the Gal Xlokk Foundation, one of three Maltese registered action groups under the Leader programme of the EU Common Agricultural Policy.
Competitiveness and Economic Growth Parliamentary Secretary Jose Herrera thanked Hon. Schembri for accepting the responsibility on a voluntary basis, highlighting the fact that this meant that more money could be invested directly in the foundation.
He said Hon. Schembriâ€™s experience in the field would assist him in giving the Responsible Gaming Foundation a solid basis to build on. Hon. Herrera said his secretariat firmly believed in the importance of the Responsible Gaming Foundation and gave it top priority as soon as he took office.
Responsible Gaming Foundation Launch
The Parliamentary Secretary for Economic Growth and Competitiveness Hon. Edward Zammit Lewis, the Minister for the Family and Social Solidarity Hon. Marie Louise Coleiro Preca together with the LGA Executive Chairman Mr Joseph Cuschieri launched the Responsible Gaming Foundation.
The conference was opened by Mr Cuschieri who explained that the launch of the Responsible Gaming Foundation is another link in a chain of new initiatives to consolidate the gaming industry in Malta from a wider perspective.Â Furthermore, he outlined the financing of the Foundation, which will be contributed from several sources including initiatives organised by the Foundation, European funds, contribution of â‚¬50,000 p.a. from the National Lotteries and contributions from the LGA.
Hon. Zammit Lewis highlighted the Governmentâ€™s commitment to promote responsible gaming through educational and media campaigns.Â Hon. Zammit Lewis explained that the mission of the Responsible Gaming Foundation is to administer the funds collected in order to support individuals that are suffering through pathological gambling, whilst organising projects to serve as rehabilitation for the victims of excessive gambling and their dependents.Â Furthermore, the Foundation shall embark in active research about excessive gambling.
On her part, Minister Coleiro Preca said that the Foundation is an important step in the Governmentâ€™s integrated social policy whilst emphasising the importance of ensuringÂ a holistic social policy.