- Responsible Affiliates in Gambling (RAiG) has today published details of its social responsibility audit.
- The audit process provides assurance that RAiG members are compliant with relevant UK regulatory requirements. It will also facilitate the sharing of good practice with the aim of improving consumer safeguards in the longer term.
- As a result of developing the audit scheme and consultation with other stakeholders, RAiG has also decided to add several issues to its work programme.
Undertaking the social responsibility audit and successfully addressing any failings that might be found will be a condition of RAiG membership. It will be repeated on an annual basis. The paper published today covers areas such as the Purpose of the Audit; Frequency; Cost; the Framework; Practical Arrangements; the Auditor’s Report; and the Review Process. As the social responsibility audit is central to RAiG’s operation, completing the pilot has been a priority. Sarah Ramanauskas, Senior Partner at Gambling Integrity, who conducted the audits, commented: “The companies involved could not have been more co-operative or committed to the process, and I am pleased that they all passed. We look forward to working with RAiG in the future, in the belief that the annual social responsibility audits will not only provide assurances about compliance, but also provide a platform for sharing best practice and enhancing standards of consumer protection.” The audit is, however, only one part of the RAiG work programme. Other items which are now under consideration include:
- Marketing suppression – for self-excluded customers (in the first instance, RAiG is exploring options with organisations such as GAMSTOP, the national online self-exclusion scheme);
- Staff training – it is important that those working in the affiliate sector are aware about the wider issues associated with gambling and the harm that gambling can cause. In pursuit of this, RAiG has begun engaging with providers of specialist training with a view to developing courses that would be available to both members and non-members of RAiG.
- Safer gambling information – for example, what should affiliates provide to their customers and how might that best be achieved?
- Improving co-ordination with gambling operators – it is in the interests of both sectors to seek a more consistent approach to regulation and compliance; and
- Transparency – assessing how consumers might best be made aware if a commercial relationship exists between an affiliate and an operator. Measures emerging from the work programme will form part of a RAiG good practice document which in due course would be published for the benefit of both members and non-members. Commenting on the audit, RAIG’s chairman, Clive Hawkswood, said: “As with all of RAiG’s work it will evolve over time but setting up the audit process and getting it piloted by our founding members marks a huge step forward. I very much see it as a benefit of membership rather than something that members or prospective members should be concerned about. As transparency has become something of a watch word for RAiG it was also important that we put this paper into the public arena. We now feel much more comfortable about encouraging other affiliates to join RAiG simply because we can be open about what is required. With the pilot successfully completed and with the audit arrangements now in place, we can concentrate on improving standards within the affiliate sector so that it plays its part, and is seen as doing so, in creating a safer gambling environment for consumers. Against this background we are now actively encouraging other affiliates to apply for membership and expect to make further announcements on that front very shortly. Anyone interested in that is very welcome to contact us at https://www.raig.org/about-us/contact/”
About Responsible Affiliates in Gambling
Responsible Affiliates in Gambling (RAiG) is a trade association founded in 2019. Its founding members were Racing Post, Oddschecker and Better Collective. The purpose of the association is to foster wider initiatives in the UK affiliate marketing sector to promote social responsibility and create a safer gambling environment for consumers. As a condition of membership, each member will be subject to an annual social responsibility audit which will be conducted by an independent third party.
A copy of the Social Responsibility Audit paper can be found here. For further information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Gambling Integrity
Gambling Integrity, founded in 2013, works with gambling and lottery operators around the globe. Its services support regulatory compliance and best practice in player protection, social responsibility and crime prevention. Gambling Integrity is a Level 4 certification assessor for the World Lottery Association’s Responsible Gambling Framework. It is also the independent auditor for the National Council on Problem Gambling’s iCAP player protection standards for online gambling in the US.
For more information see: www.gamblingintegrity.com