Conclusion of the activities of the 1st Responsible Gaming Awareness Week 2019

A large number of people from all over Cyprus participated in the events of the first Responsible Gaming Awareness Week organized jointly by the National Betting Authority and the National Casino and Supervisory Authority, from October 8th to 14th 2019.

The activities of the week were concluded yesterday with information booths at the Paphos and Nicosia Malls. The purpose of the RGAW was to inform, raise awareness and educate the public and stakeholders about responsible gambling practices and the dangers of problem gambling.

The launch of the week was marked by the 1st Responsible Gaming Conference on October 8 in Nicosia. During the conference more than 250 participants had the opportunity to gain from the knowledge and experience of gambling industry experts from Cyprus and abroad and pose questions. In addition, attendees had the opportunity to discover best practices followed by other EU Member States, on issues related to responsible gambling and public protection.

University students had the chance to participate to interactive events held at the University of Cyprus, the University of Nicosia, the European University and the University of Frederick, where they had the opportunity to learn about responsible gambling practices and reflect on their own gambling behaviour. Another important event was the two-day workshop “Design Sprint for Responsible and Safe Gambling” co-organized by the two authorities and the Youth Board of Cyprus, which made use of the design thinking method. Participants at the workshop had the opportunity to explore ideas and propose solutions on ensuring safe gambling.

The RGAW also featured a book presentation by British psychologist and author Liz Karter titled “Women and Problematic Gambling.” Ms. Karter, during the presentation, analysed the reasons why a woman may be led to a gambling addiction and how she can deal with any problematic behaviour she may develop.

Throughout the week, professionals in the gambling industry, as well as psychologists, nurses, clinical psychotherapists, and more ,were given the opportunity to attend educational seminars on gambling disorder and the practical application of methods of prevention, intervention and treatment of problematic behaviours towards gambling.

The chairwoman of the National Betting Authority, Ms. Ioanna Fiakkou, mentioned that the public response to the events exceeded the expectations of the organizers and increased the demands for both the events of the forthcoming period and the organization of the second RGAW, scheduled for next year. “It has become clear through the tremendous involvement of both public and industry professionals that there is a great demand for ensuring responsible gambling and tackling problem gambling. With the experience and knowledge we have gained from this year’s first event, we are setting even higher goals as we will prepare an enhanced program and even more activities for the next Responsible Gaming Awareness Week, aiming to be established as a yearly event. Of course, we will continue our efforts on ensuring responsible participation in gambling for the next time period in cooperation will all relevant stakeholders”.

The aim of the organizers is to keep gambling as a form of entertainment rather than as a means of enrichment, with the ultimate goal of minimizing any negative consequences of gambling participation.

In this context, the creation of a Responsible Gaming Center, which will oversee the national strategy for responsible gambling, coordinate all activities that promote responsible gambling, implement research programs and provide 24-hour assistance to both players and their family and friends.

For more information on all of the activities of RGAW click here


Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Cyprus and the National Betting Authority

A Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Cyprus and the National Betting Authority was signed on Friday, September 21, 2018. The Memorandum was signed, on behalf of the University of Cyprus by the Rector, Professor Konstantinos Christofidis and on behalf of the National Betting Authority by the Chairwoman, Mrs. Ioanna Fiakkou.

The Memorandum provides, inter alia, for cooperation between the Authority and the Department of Psychology of the University of Cyprus for the utilization of research results related to responsible gambling participation, and in the field of gambling, in order to formulate policies related to this particular sector.

During the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding, the Rector of the University of Cyprus, Professor Konstantinos Christofides, welcomed the delegation of the National Betting Authority and the initiative of the Department of Psychology.

The Director of the Department of Psychology, Professor Georgia Panayiotou, emphasized the importance of cooperation in the study of the psychological characteristics of individuals who are addicted to gambling, while noting that such cooperation would substantially contribute to prevention measures for students, through the Mental Health Center of the University of Cyprus.

The Chairwoman of the National Betting Authority, Ms. Ioanna Fiakkou, thanked the University of Cyprus and mentioned that in addition to the Psychology Department, the cooperation initiated by the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding will be extended to the Departments of Computer Science, Law and Public Administration having the ultimate  purpose of enhancing the business aspects of the gambling sector.