The Safer Gambling Week 2020 (SGW), which was organized for the third consecutive year by the National Betting Authority, was successfully completed, as part of its strategic planning for the protection of society as a whole and the prevention of problem gambling and gambling addiction.
More than 40 experts from Cyprus and abroad, including distinguished professionals of the gambling industry, academics, and trainers, shared their experiences and knowledge in the field of safer gambling during the Safer Gambling Week. The number of attendees to the Safer Gambling Conference exceeded 300 people, while during the SGW more than 25 activities and workshops took place. It should be noted that the majority of the actions were held online this year, as a result of the unprecedented conditions created by the coronavirus pandemic.
The aim of the 3rd Safer Gambling Week was to inform and raise public awareness about safer participation in gambling, as well as explore effective ways to deal with the risks associated with problem gambling. As a result, a variety of activities were held physically, where possible, and online. Such activities include the interactive events that were carried out in various shopping centres throughout Cyprus. Moreover, seminars and workshops were organised for specific stakeholders and relevant target groups such as authorized agents (bookmakers) and staff of land-based betting premises, casino employees, members of sports federations, business executives, mental health professionals, parents, educational consultants, etc. Special emphasis was placed on raising awareness of the youth through the organization of the interactive online game “Let’s Keep it a Game Quiz”. Students from various higher education institutions in Cyprus had the opportunity to learn about safer gambling through a fun activity.
The chairwoman of the National Betting Authority, Ms. Ioanna Fiakkou, expressed her satisfaction for this year’s event, which was concluded on Sunday, October 11: “We are very pleased with the results of this year’s Safer Gambling Week, despite the practical difficulties created by the pandemic. Informing the public to prevent problem gambling behaviours, especially in the midst of a pandemic, remains at the heart of the Authority’s strategic plan. The SGW, in the context of the Authority’s wider efforts to inform and raise public awareness about safer participation in gambling, gave us the opportunity to remind the public that excessive gambling participation entails risks”.
Ms. Fiakkou also stressed that the organization of the SGW highlighted the need to develop synergies and collaborations between public and private entities, in order to implement a holistic approach for the protection of society, while assuring that “the National Betting Authority, as the competent authority for the effective regulation of the betting industry in Cyprus, will continue the efforts for the effective regulation and supervision, with the basic aim of ensuring public health and protection from any negative consequences of problem gambling and gambling addiction”.
You can find more information on the activities of the week at www.sgw.cy