“Crouch End was the junction of four locally important roads. A wooden cross was erected at the junction of these roads, roughly where the Clock Tower now stands. (Wikipedia)”
Time has been ticking on the journey along the Social Responsibility roads to common sense, and the realisation that a £2 stake for FOBT’s can make a difference, has at last been understood by HMG. Let’s not dwell on their motives for originally proposing a delay in implementation, but now think about Social Responsibility in the wider context for anyone in the UK gambling sector.
I’m looking forward to the BACTA Social Responsibility Exchange next week to understand the different perspectives. I think it is time for unity in the pub sector to develop and implement their own, single code of conduct and compliance in this area. Pub gaming is lower stake and prize but is ubiquitous and played by thousands of pub-goers every week. Pubs need their own SR code, ratified by DCMS and supported by GambleAware and other interested parties.
If it is a pub SR code and not a generic one, it will be owned by pubs and their employees, trained in effectively and consistently and will be implemented quickly, with effective audit and compliance. Keeping it simple, with collective technological developments across pub retailers and machine operators is the clearest way for the player understand the pub gaming market and the risks and rewards. The Playgo cashless App for example.
It was a great shame to see Tracy Crouch resign her position. She engaged across the board, listened and genuinely believed in what she was trying to achieve. In the long run, her noble actions will make a huge difference to many lives and families. However, now is the time to keep further politics out of SR in pubs and deliver clear common sense solutions and pubs can be the vanguard.