A close working relationship between EPIC Risk Management and The Hippodrome Casino has been strengthened further thanks to the agreement of a landmark two-year partnership aimed at minimising the risk of gambling harm among the casino’s clients.
The two parties have recently combined to facilitate an initial pilot programme, delivered by EPIC as a precursor to the new arrangement, followed by a showcase event at the iconic central London venue, intended to highlight the need for harm minimisation training in UK casinos.
Now, EPIC will be working on site at The Hippodrome with both licenced and unlicensed customer-facing staff to ensure that all interactions with clients throughout their entire visit to the casino will have safer gambling practices at the heart of their approach.
The first such programme delivered by the globally-leading gambling harm minimisation consultancy will include a series of 20 workshops and four focus group evaluation sessions that look at key best practice areas, including identifying risk and harm in player activity, vulnerability, stigma, meaningful interactions and increasing confidence.
All will be co-facilitated in the context of EPIC’s extensive lived experience of both gambling-related harm and land-based casino management, with the intention that The Hippodrome staff can increasingly apply knowledge acquired through the workshop and put it to use in their real-world scenarios, as well as assessing the transfer of learning post-course in the evaluation sessions.
With 25 years of experience working in land-based casino environments, EPIC’s sustainability manager Joanna Whitehall will be taking a leading role in the delivery of the programme, and she has expressed her satisfaction that she will be able to share some key learnings from her career.
“We’re very pleased to have further strengthened a very close working relationship with The Hippodrome Casino,” she explained. “We hear examples of the gambling-harm journey experienced by a number of our facilitators throughout the company. Training of this nature hasn’t been standard practice previously in casinos, so it stands to reason that customer-facing staff who may have felt an urge to intervene in cases of harm may not have had the knowledge on how to deal with such clients.
“Now we can provide specific examples of markers of harm, and how to bring up the conversation with confidence and empathy with the intention of identifying risk and preventing gambling-related harm before it happens.
“We look forward to working with The Hippodrome Casino further, to improve safety and confidence for staff and clients alike, and trust that we can continue to expand the reach of this programme to other land-based casinos across the UK who have expressed an interest in a similar project at their venue.”
Sam Douglas, director of business services at The Hippodrome Casino, added: “We are thrilled to partner with EPIC Risk Management to help our employees build empathy and understanding through lived experience.
“The training they provide is invaluable, and we have already seen a positive impact on our team. We are happy that this partnership will assist us in creating a safe environment for our players in the years to come.”