Safer Gambling Week provides us with an opportunity to really sit back and think about how we ensure that our customers’ wellbeing is still our top priority.
At Jenningsbet we are always striving to constantly improve in protecting customers from harm and this week acts as a backstop check that we are doing the best we can do.
Having had our branches closed for last year's Safer Gambling Week, this year has felt particularly significant. So many of our customers have been negatively impacted by the pandemic - be it through loss of loved ones, increased isolation or job security - that taking time to ensure that they are still in control of their betting, and checking that outside factors aren’t leading to increased gambling-related harm, is paramount.
This year in preparation for the week we took part in the Safer Gambling Training Programme, a collaboration between YGAM, Betknowmore and the Responsible Gambling Council. Every one of our branch managers has achieved a City and Guilds certificate for completing the training in ‘Enhanced Skills for Customer Interactions’.
Feedback from staff on the course content has been overwhelmingly positive, which has been great for us to hear. It’s vital to make safer gambling training engaging and relatable. We love collaborating with YGAM and Betknowmore, particularly as they have the benefit of lived experience behind their content, which is always useful for staff to gain insight into how customers may be acting and feeling when they are having a really tough time.
The training feedback has included how much more confident staff feel starting conversations about safer gambling, using active listening skills and building rapport. These are the sort of skills we really want to be encouraging all year round not just the one week.
While Safer Gambling Week does provide an opportunity to reflect on how well we are achieving our safer gambling objectives it isn’t the only time of year that we do so. There is a continuous effort across the business to prioritise customer wellbeing. Our frontline staff really do know their customers and in my experience are genuinely passionate about helping those that need it and signposting the support that's available.
It's really encouraging to see that problem gambling figures are down across the country. I feel that a factor behind that is the increased efforts of the industry, the hard work of frontline staff in ensuring safer gambling environments and the work of the BGC in fostering a culture of collaboration between sectors. safer gambling is no longer considered a tick box exercise, but an area of innovation and shared learning.
Vicky Knight is Machines and Compliance Manager at Jennings Bet