The bacta Northern SR Exchange has drawn to a close with positive feedback from participants about the content and new relaxed format.
Reporting on a well-attended Northern SR Exchange, bacta head of social responsibility and compliance Simon Bradbury commented:
“After a great launch in London last year, it was agreed that we should extend SR Exchange’s reach by hosting a series of events around the country. The Manchester event very much had its own identity, building on what we had learned in London.
“With an even sharper focus on front-line staff, the objective was to enable the sharing of experience and to encourage honest and open debate about what we do well and what we don’t do so well.
“We also wanted to enhance the learning experience by introducing an element of fun and I have to thank our Regional Compliance Officer Tony Waldron who went above and beyond the call of duty to compose seven topical and amusing poems for recital during the day,” Bradbury said.
Whilst essentially a northern event, SR Exchange attracted participants from as far afield as Lincolnshire and Scotland, the majority being owner-operators and representatives from larger organisations, including Crown Leisure, Praesepe and Luxury Leisure.
The feedback from the London event was that participants wanted more time in the group workshops and more information about improving interventions, so this was very much the order of the day.
Workshops addressed Social Responsibility, Safer Gambling -The Mental Health Landscape and Counselling, Identification and Interaction, Evaluation and Review and New Technology.
Workshop sessions were facilitated by bacta’s SR and Compliance Team, Simon Bradbury, Murray MacDougal and David Miller, plus invited presenter Jacki Wild, a therapist, trainer and clinical supervisor for Beacon Counselling.
Jacki Wild gave a fascinating insight into the mental health landscape, including how addictive behaviour is established within the human brain and its impact on others. Giving her perspective on the second Social Responsibility Exchange Jacki commented:
“An enjoyable and informative event. The audience engaged well with the ‘Mental Health and Counselling’ workshop’, discussing issues around problematic gambling, in context with their job roles, and the wider social and psychological impacts of gambling related harm.”
The day’s final session was an update on the latest technology developed to reduce the potential for gambling related harm, including a familiarisation with the bacta self-exclusion portal. The soon to be launched YALP cashless app-based system that allows the player to limit both spend and time at a machine was also reviewed, including its integration with the YOTI age verification tool.
Post-event feedback on the SR Exchange has been excellent, with many mentioning that they appreciated the delivery style. Attendee Amanda Kiernan, Head of Compliance at Praesepe commented:
“The bacta Social Responsibility Exchange is a great opportunity to collaborate with fellow operators, share knowledge and learn from one another. The workshops, whilst covering important SR topics, were delivered in a fun and engaging way. Some very poignant content really made you think about why we as an industry must constantly endeavour to protect people from gambling related harm.”
Pleased with the event’s success, Bradbury is already thinking about applying lessons learned to future SR Exchanges:
“The Manchester event built upon what we learned at the inaugural London SR Exchange, but it had an identity of its own. I believe the SR Exchange will continue to evolve, but it’s clear that the way forward is an informal style coupled with the sharing of experiences by those at the sharp end. I’ve been hugely impressed by the genuine commitment shown to support those players who may potentially be at risk from gambling related harm. I’d like to add a sincere thank- you to all of those who contributed to this unique and enjoyable learning experience.”