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Social Responsibility Issues Surrounding Dementia

We are pleased to announce that Woods Whur is teaming up with The Alzheimer’s Society to offer training for the gambling sector on social responsibility issues surrounding dementia.

Operators are of course already acutely aware of their obligations under the gambling legislation and the Gambling Commission’s Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice relating to social responsibility generally. However, a number of conferences that I have attended in recent months have featured contributions from The Alzheimer’s Society and it is clear to me that the Gambling Commission is increasingly concerned to ensure that operators have the appropriate policies and procedures in place surrounding dementia and that their staff are adequately trained and supported so that they can identify, and appropriately handle the particular needs of, customers who might be vulnerable by reason of dementia.

In February 2015 the Prime Minister, David Cameron, said that dementia is “one of the greatest challenges of our lifetime”. According to The Alzheimer’s Society:

  • There are currently 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, with this number set to rise to 1.1 million in six years;
  • 225,000 people develop dementia in the UK very year;
  • Over 40,000 younger people (under the age of 65) currently live with the condition; and
  • Dementia costs the UK economy £26.3 billion a year.

We are proposing to run half-day courses, at a location to suit operators, covering:

  • Information on the disease and its prevalence;
  • Pointers that might indicate that a customer is a sufferer;
  • Tools for dealing with these customers in a range of scenarios, including face-to-face and online; and
  • How to document and record action taken as part of establishing due diligence in dealing with social responsibility obligations.

The course will also improve awareness of the other ways in which dementia might affect gambling businesses in terms of costs and benefits – the purchasing power of households living with dementia and the cost to business of early retirement of those diagnosed, for example.

I believe that this issue is one that will attract ever-increasing attention from the Gambling Commission going forward and attendance at this training will be an excellent means of demonstrating proactive compliance with social responsibility obligations, particularly in the event of an inspection.

Please contact me on if you might be interested in sending members of your organisation on this training.