MERKUR UK: Championing innovation around safer gambling

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MERKUR UK has been praised by one of the leading safer gambling and gaming experts for ‘championing innovation’ in the space.

Lee Willows, who founded ESG Gaming following his tenure launching and establishing YGAM underlined the value of MERKUR UK’s support. He explained: “MERKUR UK is specifically supporting ESG Gaming with a two-year RET funding commitment which has been transformational and enabled us to not only establish robust foundations but also contribute to crucial safer-gambling research.”

The RET donation in year one was used to support academic research into safer gambling and gaming within Web3 and what customer protection considerations would be purposeful in what is an immersive environment. The academic research was carried out by Bournemouth University and comprised a literary review and the production of a Theory of Change.

Willows believes that as Web3 becomes more adopted by the population, there is a need to review, consider and evaluate how consumer protection tools will be used in the future as technology evolves. “The Theory of Change work helped us to understand how ESG Gaming might develop consumer protection tools in an immersive environment and what the social impact, outcomes, and output might be from these tools” he said. “This work was critical as it has given us an external benchmark on which to measure the effectiveness of the tools we create.”

MERKUR UK’s donation for year two, will be specifically invested to develop and evaluate the consumer tools. Working alongside a range of academic and specialist Web3 organisations, ESG will build a prototype Web3 environment where consumer protection tools can be evaluated taking academic, lived experience and real world perspectives.

Tony Boulton, Director of Public and Political Relations at MERKUR UK stated: “Through initiatives such as our 360 programme we have demonstrated our commitment to safer gambling and how it’s possible to create and instill a social responsibility culture within an organisation.

“As advocates of innovation in safer gambling we are extremely proud to support the work of Lee Willows and the team at ESG Gaming, who are undertaking some pioneering insights, exploring how technology will change the customer journey and the way in which consumers will use gambling products.”

Lee Willows confirmed: “The longevity of support from MERKUR UK has been really welcomed. Their generous donations have enabled ESG Gaming to ensure our foundations are well-thought-through and our work is evidence-led.”

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