Martin Lycka's Safe Bet Show

SBC Media

Martin Lycka has been one of the driving forces behind player protection initiatives through his work with global gambling operator Entain. In these podcasts, he speaks with some of the leading lights in the battle against problem gambling. NB - All views expressed in this podcast are personal and do not necessarily represent the views of Entain.

Shelley White, CEO, Responsible Gambling Council
Mar 29 2022
Shelley White, CEO, Responsible Gambling Council
The latest episode of Martin Lycka’s Safe Bet Show is here, and Martin’s guest this time is Shelley White, the CEO of the Responsible Gaming Council, and one of the most influential and important names in the RG field. Martin and Shelley have a fascinating discussion on numerous topics close to Shelley’s heart, including her career history and some of her achievements working with the YMCA, Kidney Association and United Way.Shelley compares some of her previous roles to her current position in the gambling industry, and discusses whether or not she sees any patterns from those roles to this one. The two also get into key commonalities in tackling problems from Shelley’s previous roles to her position at the RGC. Martin gets Shelley’s thoughts on the evolution of willingness to tackle responsible gambling issues in the industry, discusses the impact of the pandemic on gambling, as well as the role technology (specifically machine learning and AI) has to play in the future of responsible gambling. Shelley also explains the lay of the land in Canada when it comes to gambling, responsible gambling and CSR, as well as the current regulatory status with regards to provinces legalising iGaming, and the single sport wagering bill. Finally, Martin asks Shelley to lay out what responsible gaming means for her in just 60 seconds, and how her vision ties in to ensuring gambling is the entertainment it was designed to be. 00:02 Intro02:55 Shelley’s residence in Toronto, what makes that part of the world special for Shelley and why she loves it. Shelley’s previous job roles working with the YMCA and addressing substance abuse in young people, helping a dramatic increase in organ donation sign-ups at the Kidney Association, and helping refugees build a new life for themselves at the United Way. 05:50 Does Shelley see any patterns from her previous roles, or methods she's used, that can apply to gambling and her role at the RGC? Key commonalities in tackling these issues is the power of collaboration, working with corporate, public and non-profit sectors, and leveraging their unique resources/skills/expertise.07:06 Is the willingness of the industry in tackling these issues increasing? And what has motivated this evolution? Shelley’s thoughts on seeing a real commitment from operators to build a sustainable responsible business, and that player health is a key part of it. 09:20 Shelley leading the RGC in Canada, working with her namesake Keith Whyte in the USA (Executive Director of the National Council on Problem Gambling)  sharing a common vision as well as a last name, supporting and creating a harm prevention culture, and the importance of sharing knowledge and expertise.11:40 The Responsible Gambling Council, what the vision is, what they've achieved, and what their overall goal is. 15:50 Shelley's role at RGC, and in responsible gambling in Canada and globally. With Canada just legalising single sport wagering, and the province of Ontario currently regulating a future iGaming, how will the Ontario market evolve? Will other Canadian provinces follow suit? Shelley’s thoughts on the long journey of over 10 years for the single sport wagering.Shelley tells Martin about working with operators and regulators, and how she expects legal iGaming in Ontario by December, with BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan set to follow. 21:25 How has the pandemic influenced the RG landscape? What role will technology play in protecting customers going forward? Shelley tells Martin about the impacts of the pandemic on gambling based on their research, and then gives her thoughts on some of the exciting machine learning and artificial intelligence technology on the horizon that can enable operators to recognise when customers hit a risk category, and can alter messaging based on this. 28:05 Advice to those who want to get involved in the CSR world, what can she and her peers learn from those at the start of their career? Why many leaders in CSR stumble into the industry, the importance supporting each other, being inspired by each other. Why young people with their symbiotic relationship with technology and strong social conscience can help current leaders learn, and the value of a reciprocal relationship between current and future leaders 31:56 Diversity, Shelley transforming the RGC to a diverse organisation, the value of humanity and how important it is for them, embracing diversity, working hard to build a sense of belonging, importance of hearing diverse perspectives, learning from expanding into international markets, Shelley’s pride at being part of the All-In Diversity Project36:15 Shelley’s thoughts on Responsible Gaming in just 60 seconds38:15 Outro
Daniel Umfleet: Problem Gambling and Public Health
Oct 26 2021
Daniel Umfleet: Problem Gambling and Public Health
The latest episode of Martin Lycka’s Safe Bet Show features Daniel Umfleet, founder and CEO of Kindbridge, online therapy, coaching and mental health resource. Daniel also served COO of GamBan, and has a litany of experience in a variety of fields. Martin and Daniel discuss Daniel’s background, education and work history, as well as his experiences as an American living in the UK, how he’s adjusted to not having Walmart, and his opinions on safer gambling from a public health and public policy perspective.00:07 - Intro 00:58 - Daniel's background, educational history, Daniel's studying and how it ties in. Learning about different cultures, how policy and legislation plays a role, learning about businesses, business culture, how businesses work and how to make things work inside businesses. 04:30 - what studies are coming in the future? Daniel wants to focus on population health/health system. Interested in care delivery, how to manage large populations successfully. 05:40 - Daniel's history living in several different countries, working in the oil and gas industry, what was Daniel's focus? And what skills did he pick up along the way? Getting to work with 4 major oil and gas companies around the world (Malaysia, Philippines, Australia, US), what he learned from that industry, developing his understanding of management and leadership. Working in healthcare in parallel, being humbled by it. Biggest takeaway from consulting was the similarities between practices across industries.10:25 - Regulating gambling, Daniel's perspective on it from a public health perspective. Importance of architecture around how care is delivered with unfamiliar products such as this. Suicide spiking in the US, despite going down across the globe. Identifying problem gambling as a mental health issue early. Recognising that gamblers with problems have a high suicide rate, and working out how to tackle that. Education and prevention are key. 15:25 - Daniel being an American in Britain, living in the south of England. What challenges does he have to negotiate on a day to day basis? Daniel having lived in Australia, the US. Struggles to find a good deli, misses New York Delis. Adjusting to less variety in the grocery stores in the UK, and smaller roads compared to America. Likes the UK lifestyle, especially having access to the NHS. Daniel on medical insurance costs in the UK. 21:20 - Martin's experiences living in the UK.22:00 - GamBan, Daniel's chance meeting GamBan founder Jack Symons in his wife's coffee shop, who Gamban are, how Daniel helped with building the framework and pushing their product. Objective was to build the best gambling blocking software on the market. 25:20 - Daniel's opinions on the Super Bowl, and his wildcard Super Bowl pick.27:27 - Daniel's overall message, what responsible gambling is to him, importance of looking at the right types of infrastructure
Cam Adair: Tackling Mental Health Issues in Gaming
Sep 7 2021
Cam Adair: Tackling Mental Health Issues in Gaming
The latest episode of Martin Lycka’s Safe Bet show sees Martin sit down for a conversation with Cam Adair, the founder of Game Quitters, the world's largest support community for video game addiction.Cam has been published in Psychiatry Research, and has an impressive list of credits including two TEDx talks, NPR, BBC, Forbes, ABC 20/20, CNN, VICE, and Bloomberg, amongst many others.Cam tells Martin about his history of competitive hockey, and the skills and mindset he’s been able to take from that into his career. Adair also touches on the Evander Kane story, and the impact of gaming and mental health issues related to gaming among amateur and professional athletes. The two also get into Cam’s ventures with Game Quitter and Know Your Game (a project on which he’s working with Martin), his thoughts on Esports, the future of the Esports revolution, and whether it can rival traditional sports in the future. Finally, Martin gets Cam’s thoughts on gaming disorder being added to the WHO’s ICD-11 list, what gaming and gambling companies can do to help with prevention of mental health issues, and the role that parents and loved ones have to play in combating these problems. 00:11 - Intro 01:41 - Cam’s love of Ice Hockey, including playing competitive hockey for over 15 years, what skills did Cam learn from hockey that he’s been able to take into mental health coaching? The skills they learned in hockey can make them more successful in business and other ventures, taking the mindset through in life. Helped him with mental preparation, being able to show up and perform even if you’re injured or tired. 04:20 - The importance of helping athletes such as Evander Kane, recently in the news due to accusations of betting on his own games, through addiction problems. The impact of gaming in recent years on athletes and sportsmen, importance of education for amateur and professional athletes.06:54 - Cam’s view on sports teams etc. banning video gaming when away with the team. Athletes being able to use gaming to stay in touch with friends and family back home, get them through lockdown/quarantine vs the potential negative effects it can have. For many individuals it’s a positive, whereas for others it’s disruptive. What impact will Esports have as more young people attempt to become professional gamers? How long before we see the impacts?09:35 - Where will the esports revolution lead? And can it take over traditional sports in popularity? The power of Esports to have new games quickly become hugely popular, for example despite being a relatively new game, the Fortnite world cup is one of the biggest events in esports. The exponential growth of Esports could see it rise above traditional sports in prominence and popularity.13:22 - The ‘darker’ side of video gaming/Esports, Cam at the forefront of the fight against mental health problems in gaming, gaming disorder recently being added to the ICD-11 (International Classification of Diseases), by the WHO. Importance of meeting each person as an individual and looking at how to help them, rather than judging whether their condition is valid. The rise in acceptance of a conversation around the topic of mental health in the gaming community. Over 3 billion active gamers worldwide, meaning a diverse group, wide range of potential conditions. 17:25 - Is there anything else the gaming and gambling companies can do to help/incentivise gamers to come forward regarding their mental health issues? Gaming community itself is the first line of defence, recognising in other gamers the mental health issues and encouraging them to seek help. Utilising more technological preventative measures, and marketing initiatives.21:00 - Game Quitters, what the objectives of the organisation are, took the opportunity to encourage other gamers with mental health issues, trying to create a space to have these discussions among peers, evolving to a YouTube channel with resources from a forum, a platform for parents of gamers22:40 - The role of parents and loved ones in helping those who are suffering with mental health issues. What more can be done to help loved ones identify problems and mental health issues, in particular from a training and education aspect? Parents needing more education, and needing it earlier on, needs to be more widespread. Parents also need to take it more seriously, need to set boundaries and screen-time limits. 27:00 - Are we slaves to our screen? And what impact does it have if so? Cam not being a fan of such extreme terminology, important for everyone to find their own balance, and remember it’s a work in progress.30:00 - Cam’s key messages in 60 seconds, not about if an activity is good or bad, more about your own personal relationship with the activities, and how they interact with your life. Know that you’re not alone if you are suffering, ask for help, there’s no shame in it.
Shelley White: The Power of Collaboration
Aug 19 2021
Shelley White: The Power of Collaboration
The latest episode of Martin Lycka’s Safe Bet Show is here, and Martin’s guest this time is Shelley White, the CEO of the Responsible Gaming Council, and one of the most influential and important names in the RG field. Martin and Shelley have a fascinating discussion on numerous topics close to Shelley’s heart, including her career history and some of her achievements working with the YMCA, Kidney Association and United Way.Shelley compares some of her previous roles to her current position in the gambling industry, and discusses whether or not she sees any patterns from those roles to this one. The two also get into key commonalities in tackling problems from Shelley’s previous roles to her position at the RGC. Martin gets Shelley’s thoughts on the evolution of willingness to tackle responsible gambling issues in the industry, discusses the impact of the pandemic on gambling, as well as the role technology (specifically machine learning and AI) has to play in the future of responsible gambling. Shelley also explains the lay of the land in Canada when it comes to gambling, responsible gambling and CSR, as well as the current regulatory status with regards to provinces legalising iGaming, and the single sport wagering bill. Finally, Martin asks Shelley to lay out what responsible gaming means for her in just 60 seconds, and how her vision ties in to ensuring gambling is the entertainment it was designed to be. 00:02 - Intro02:55 - Shelley’s residence in Toronto, what makes that part of the world special for Shelley and why she loves it. Shelley’s previous job roles working with the YMCA and addressing substance abuse in young people, helping a dramatic increase in organ donation sign-ups at the Kidney Association, and helping refugees build a new life for themselves at the United Way. 05:50 - Does Shelley see any patterns from her previous roles, or methods she's used, that can apply to gambling and her role at the RGC? Key commonalities in tackling these issues is the power of collaboration, working with corporate, public and non-profit sectors, and leveraging their unique resources/skills/expertise.07:06 - Is the willingness of the industry in tackling these issues increasing? And what has motivated this evolution? Shelley’s thoughts on seeing a real commitment from operators to build a sustainable responsible business, and that player health is a key part of it. 09:20 - Shelley leading the RGC in Canada, working with her namesake Keith Whyte in the USA (Executive Director of the National Council on Problem Gambling)  sharing a common vision as well as a last name, supporting and creating a harm prevention culture, and the importance of sharing knowledge and expertise.11:40 The Responsible Gambling Council, what the vision is, what they've achieved, and what their overall goal is. 15:50 - Shelley's role at RGC, and in responsible gambling in Canada and globally. With Canada just legalising single sport wagering, and the province of Ontario currently regulating a future igaming, how will the Ontario market evolve? Will other Canadian provinces follow suit? Shelley’s thoughts on the long journey of over 10 years for the single sport wagering. Shelley tells Martin about working with operators and regulators, and how she expects legal iGaming in Ontario by December, with BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan set to follow. 21:25 - How has the pandemic influenced the RG landscape? What role will technology play in protecting customers going forward? Shelley tells Martin about the impacts of the pandemic on gambling based on their research, and then gives her thoughts on some of the exciting machine learning and artificial intelligence technology on the horizon that can enable operators to recognise when customers hit a risk category, and can alter messaging based on this. 28:05 - Advice to those who want to get involved in the CSR world, what can she and her peers learn from those at the start of their career? Why many leaders in CSR stumble into the industry, the importance supporting each other, being inspired by each other. Why young people with their symbiotic relationship with technology and strong social conscience can help current leaders learn, and the value of a reciprocal relationship between current and future leaders 31:56 - Diversity, Shelley transforming the RGC to a diverse organisation, the value of humanity and how important it is for them, embracing diversity, working hard to build a sense of belonging, importance of hearing diverse perspectives, learning from expanding into international markets, Shelley’s pride at being part of the All-In Diversity Project36:15 - Shelley’s thoughts on Responsible Gaming in just 60 seconds38:15 - Outro
Martin Lycka’s Safe Bet Show with Grainne Hurst - We need to personalise player protection methods
Jul 12 2021
Martin Lycka’s Safe Bet Show with Grainne Hurst - We need to personalise player protection methods
Martin Lycka’s Safe Bet Show with Grainne Hurst - “One problem gambler in the industry is far too many”Episode 4 of Martin Lycka’s Safe Bet Show features one of Martin’s esteemed Entain colleagues, none other than Grainne Hurst! Grainne is Entain’s Director of Corporate Affairs, and works closely with Martin on Entain’s responsible gaming and player protection arm. Martin and Grainne discuss life as each other’s ‘corporate other half’ (emphasis on the corporate), bond over name-mispronunciation woes, and even give some thoughts and predictions on England (and the Czech Republic’s) chances at Euro 2020!Of course the two also get into the hot topics of responsible gambling, Entain’s ‘Changing for the Better’ program, and the revolutionary ARC program (Advance Responsibilty & Care), both of which Grainne has played a huge part in. Grainne gives some insight and information on ARC’s personalised responsible gaming system, and how it can change the customer experience using algorithms and behaviour analytics. Grainne also discusses the differences in culture, and the importance of understanding that not all players are problem gamblers, and those that play for leisure and entertainment must have a say in the future of the industry. As always, Martin puts his guest on the spot and asks Grainne to define responsible gambling, define the end-game, and then finally sum up her thoughts in 60 seconds.00:17 - Intro into Grainne and her role01:42 - Grainne's name, her favourite mispronunciations03:25- Grainne and Martin's work relationship, what Grainne does at Entain and where it crosses over to Martin's role, further discussion of Grainne's role, being Martin’s corporate other half 05:00 - Grainne founding Entain's 'Changing For The Better' Program, what the program is, what its goals are, tackling as many problem gambling issues as possible, looking at causes, consequences and education, working with YGAM, GamCare and EPIC Risk Management08:12 - How to measure success of the 'Changing for the Better' program, importance of raising awareness and bringing the industry together to tackle the issue of problem gamblers10:33 - Grainne’s thoughts on the review of the 2005 UK Gambling Act by the UKGC, what the outcome may be and what the future may hold, importance of updating the regulations to the digital age, taking into account the updated technology and praise for the UK Governments evidence-led approach, and a discussion of the potential incoming gambling ombudsman12:44 - What else needs to be done, the importance of noticing that many players don't have problems and play for leisure, players wanting to be part of the discussion in the future of regulation, players wanting to be in control of what and where they spend16:16 - Use of technology in responsible gambling and player protection, Entain's Advance Responsibility and Care program (ARC), using technology to provide personalised player protection, tracking behaviour, using behaviour analytics and algorithms, changing customer experience for problem players20:10 - When will we see ARC in action, timeline on this revolutionary player protection product, hopefully live in the UK in this year, taking expertise from gambling addiction experts in medical, and also with EPIC to build the tool21:50 - Grainne's definition of responsible gambling, and what the end game is, what they're trying to do, importance of providing personalised and innovative player protection systems in place, the challenges of rolling out in multiple jurisdictions, cultural differences that affect markers of problem gambling, analysing the issue on a market-by-market basis25:15 - Euro 2020, discussion of England at Euro 2020, will football be home by the time the podcast is released?27:50 - Grainne's final thoughts, and final messages in 60 seconds
Judge Cheryl Moss: The intricacies of the Gambling Treatment Diversion Court
Jun 14 2021
Judge Cheryl Moss: The intricacies of the Gambling Treatment Diversion Court
Episode 3 of Martin Lycka’s Safebet Show, the most star-studded podcast in the responsible gaming world, just dropped! Martin’s guest is Judge Cheryl Moss of the State of Nevada District Court and the Gambling Treatment Diversion Court. Judge Moss gives an absolutely fascinating interview with Martin about her career, how she got into law, the accelerated path she took to becoming a judge and how she ended up in Las Vegas. Judge Moss also gives an impassioned introduction to the Gambling Treatment Diversion Court, of which Judge Moss was the first Judge to preside over, explains to Martin the impact it could have and where it could go in the future (hint - not stopping with New Jersey!). Martin also gets into Judge Moss’s sporting preferences, including a love of the New York Yankees, marrying into Pittsburgh fandom, and her feelings toward the referee while watching the game!00:19 - Intro 01:50 - Judge Moss as a sports fan, being a soccer fan, fan of the Yankees, marrying into Pittsburgh sports fandom, and a Judge’s feelings toward the referee in sports (Does Judge Moss root for the Zebra?!)04:45 - Judge Moss’s experience as a judge, what it’s like becoming and serving as a judge, leaving Washington DC behind to move to Las Vegas - Being in court, the feelings of the defendants and plaintiffs in court, what Judge Moss has learned from her 20 years as a judge08:38 - Being in court, the feelings of the defendants and plaintiffs in court, what Judge Moss has learned from her 20 years as a judge11:25 - What is the Gambling Treatment Diversion Court? Judge Moss’s involvement in it, how gambling addiction has historically been treated in court, some of Judge Moss’s history in problem gambling cases18:48 - Expanding the GDTC from Nevada to New Jersey, hopes for the future of the GDTC, gambling addiction in the US26:23 - What is responsible gambling, what is the end-game in Judge Moss’s opinion? Thoughts on advertising and responsibilities as a gaming company33:59 - Judge Moss’s key messages from the podcast and final thoughts36:00 - Outro
Brianne Doura-Schawohl: Pioneering Responsible Gambling in the US
May 21 2021
Brianne Doura-Schawohl: Pioneering Responsible Gambling in the US
Episode 2 of Martin Lycka’s Safe Bet Show sees Martin in conversation with Brianne Doura-Schawohl, Vice President of US Policy and Strategic Development at EPIC Risk Management. Brianne is a real pioneer of responsible gaming in the US, and takes Martin through her time on the Massachusetts council for Gaming and Health, and her role in creating the formative responsible gaming policies in the country, as well as her work in tackling compulsive gambling in the military. Brianne tells Martin all about EPIC and her role, and gets into the differences between the UK and the US, on everything from the approach to responsible gaming, to the accents and definition of a brew!Martin and Brianne also cover family, and get Brianne’s advice on how to juggle a successful career with your family life. Timestamps:00:14 - Introduction.01:25 - Brianne’s childhood in New England, her earliest gambling memories and her and Martin’s shared love of the Patriots. 03:34 - Brianne’s role as a pioneer of US responsible gambling and policy, achievements on the Massachussets council of Gaming and Health.07:55 - Tackling problem gambling in the military.11:24 - Intro on EPIC Risk Management and Brianne’s role at the company.15:20 - Differences between the US and UK, the accents and colloquialisms of her British colleagues.17:51 - What does responsible gaming mean for you? And what role does technology play in the future of RG?21:28 - Developments in US Sports Betting and the lay of the land of the market.23:55 - Differences between how the UK and US operators approach Responsible Gambling.26:00 - Advice on juggling your career and your family.27:56 - Brianne's 60-second summary, and Martin's outroAll views expressed in this podcast are personal and do not necessarily represent the views of Entain.