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Evaluation of Gambling Harm Advice Service in Scotland Evidences Stigma as a Barrier to Identifying and Asking for Support for Gambling Harm

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The Gambling Support Service (GSS) is delivered by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) in partnership with GambleAware.

The project delivers training to frontline workers, to help them recognise when people are at risk of, or experiencing, gambling harms. Training has been delivered to Citizens Advice Bureaux across Scotland, as well as local authority staff; services such as the police and paramedics; and debt advice, housing, and mental health charities.

GambleAware commissioned Kantar Public to conduct an independent evaluation to explore the experiences of those involved in the first two years of the project, and capture learnings from it.

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The evaluation identified the progress made in building capacity among workforces across Scotland to identify and advise clients about harms related to gambling, with over 2000 professionals trained and a 97% satisfaction rate among trainees.

The evaluation found that stigma was both a personal and social barrier to seeking support. It identified some concerns and resistance among frontline workers concerning asking questions intended to identify gambling harm amongst their clients.

Advisors felt that the public understanding of the severity of gambling harm is limited, and stigma exists towards those experiencing gambling harm, which in turn reduces the numbers seeking advice.

To reduce hesitancy and increase confidence among frontline workers to ask questions designed to enable identification of harms resulting from gambling, the evaluation recommended:

  • Producing clearer guidance for frontline workers explaining why gambling could be a problem for clients seeking assistance on a wide range of issues, and how to weave questions designed to identify harm into conversations.
  • Exploring flexibility in the use of questions designed to identify harm, to encourage more natural conversations with clients about gambling harms and reduce stigma.
  • Development of more thorough training designed to address the issue of perceived uncomfortable conversations about harms related to gambling.

Trainees reported feeling that GSS played a valuable role in improving client advice on and aiding the reduction of gambling harm across Scotland. Frontline workers were able to offer advice (such as helping clients download gambling website blocking apps), and signpost to relevant support organisations that were felt to be most suited to clients’ needs.

In 2022 GambleAware recommissioned the Gambling Support Service for a further three years, and Citizens Advice Scotland has actively engaged in embedding the learning from the evaluation, and exploring ways to reduce the barrier of stigma.

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Anna Hargrave, Chief Commissioning Officer of GambleAware said: “This evaluation provides valuable insight into what can be improved in an already successful and impactful service.

“We know that discussions about gambling can be challenging and that training and the tools provided were key to preparing frontline workers to have conversations with clients about gambling.

“The production of clearer guidance and an increased flexibility around questions should help front-line workers in identifying harms, having sensitive client conversations and helping reduce stigma going forward.”

Derek Mitchell, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Scotland, said: “The Scottish Citizens Advice network is proud to deliver this very important service, which has delivered real results by training over 2000 professionals on how to identify gambling related harms.

“It is very clear from the feedback we get that stigma is a major problem, and that is why it is so important for the CAB network that we do not judge anyone’s circumstances or background when seeking help, and believe it is vital people seek support as soon as possible.

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“The earlier someone gets the support they need the faster they can deal with the problem, it really is as simple as that. The alternative is burying your head in the sand as problems grow and grow until they are overwhelming. People shouldn’t be embarrassed or worried about seeking help, it is the first step to solving their issues.”

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David Goldberg

GAN Announces Recent Appointment of Seamus McGill to Chief Executive Officer

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GAN Limited, a leading North American B2B technology provider of real money internet gaming solutions and a leading International B2C operator of Internet sports betting, announced that Seamus McGill has recently been named the Company’s Chief Executive Officer. Mr. McGill had previously been serving in an interim capacity.

Mr. McGill’s will remain on the Company’s board of directors and will be focused on guiding the Company toward a timely closing with Sega Sammy Creation Inc.

“Seamus has the full backing of the board of directors and we are confident that his experience and leadership make him the most qualified candidate to be GAN’s next CEO. Seamus has been with the Company since 2014 and has a deep understanding of GAN’s products, customers, and strategy. On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I’d like to congratulate Seamus on his appointment and we look forward to his success,” David Goldberg, the Company’s Chairman of the Board, said.

“It’s an honor to be named GAN’s CEO and I’d like to thank David and the board for their vote of confidence. Going forward, our focus remains unchanged. We remain committed to a timely closing of our transaction with Sega Sammy to maximize value for all of our stakeholders,” added Seamus McGill.

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American sports industry

Lottery.com Acquires SportLocker

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Lottery.com Inc., a leading online lottery services provider, announced the strategic acquisition of S&MI Ltd. (SportLocker).

As part of the acquisition, SportLocker, rebranded as Sports.com, will immediately launch as a premier platform for sports fans worldwide, marking a pivotal leap in Sports.com’s evolution as the next-gen digital sports entertainment space. The platform merges innovative community-driven aspects with expansive content and technology, creating a new era of sports engagement.

Details of Acquisition

The stock-based acquisition is a significant step in Sports.com’s strategy to diversify and magnify its digital entertainment and sports engagement footprint, introducing a service that seamlessly blends sports and social for a truly immersive fan experience.

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Creating the next Gen Sports Entertainment Platform

Sports.com is poised to redefine digital sports entertainment by introducing a platform that aims to combine: 24 hours of sports news; live streaming; hours of exciting new content, including original documentaries, films, and exclusive behind-the-scenes access. By offering innovative ways for fans to watch sports—when they want, where they want, directly on their devices, regardless of the country—Sports.com is determined to break new ground. Throughout 2024, the Company plans to add additional features to and invest in innovative technologies for Sports.com that focus on immersing sports fans with content that truly matters to them though the establishment of communities and sports-centric social media interactions with some of the biggest stars in sports: past, present, and future.

Creating a New Vision for Sports Entertainment

The Company is initially focused on rolling out Sports.com in the US and Europe, along with concentrated efforts in the Middle East. Sports.com is determined to expand globally, targeting high-energy sports such as soccer, motor racing (in all forms), football, baseball, basketball, MMA, boxing, cricket, golf, field and ice hockey, and tennis at the grassroots level. A dedicated parallel program committed exclusively to women’s sports is expected to launch, showcasing the latest methods for fan engagement, sponsorship acquisition, and generating new revenue streams for clubs and teams.

The Company previously announced plans for club acquisition, sponsorship, and media partnership programs. These initiatives, initially focused on UK soccer clubs, MLS, and USL, are spearheaded by Marc Bircham, Sports.com head of business development, and they reflect Sports.com’s commitment to making a significant impact in the sports and media landscape, particularly with the American audience in mind, leveraging the vast and lucrative American sports industry.

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Industry News

Mohegan Appoints Kurt Shotzberger as VP of Financial Planning & Analysis

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Mohegan, a globally recognized leader in entertainment and gaming, has announced the appointment of Kurt Shotzberger as the Vice President of Financial Planning & Analysis. In this role, Shotzberger will spearhead budgeting, financial modeling, forecasting and financial and operational analysis, as well as strategic planning. His work will be instrumental in shaping the economic future of Mohegan, ensuring sustainability and success across all facets of the organization.

“Kurt’s extensive background in finance and gaming brings a unique perspective and invaluable expertise to our team. His skills will be crucial as we navigate the ever-evolving landscape in our industry, and we’re really looking forward to seeing the innovative direction Kurt will offer as part of Mohegan,” Ray Pineault, President and CEO of Mohegan, said.

With over two decades of experience in finance, including 15 years in the gaming industry, Shotzberger brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Mohegan. His professional highlights include various senior leadership roles at IGT, a global leader in gaming technology and serving as Vice President of Gaming & Lodging investment banking with Wachovia Securities. A seasoned professional, Shotzberger’s career is marked by his achievements in enhancing brand performance and driving growth. His appointment at Mohegan is a testament to his abilities and the company’s commitment to excellence and innovation.

“Stepping into the role at Mohegan allows me to apply my background in a manner that aligns with my professional ethos. This opportunity is both a privilege and a significant responsibility which I am eager to begin while making meaningful contributions along the way,” said Kurt Shotzberger, Vice President of Financial Planning & Analysis at Mohegan.

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Shotzberger, who is a Pennsylvania native, has an educational background that includes a Bachelor of Science in Business from Wake Forest University alongside professional certifications that underscore his expertise in economic forecasting and analysis. His approach to finance is deeply aligned with Mohegan’s core values, emphasizing mutual respect, cooperation and building lasting relationships.

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