Clive Hawkswood is the current chairman of Responsible Affiliates in Gambling (RAiG). RAiG, an independent body founded in May 2019, aims to promote social responsibility in the UK affiliate marketing sector, as well as establish a safer gambling environment for consumers.
What are the main problems or challenges Responsible Affiliates in Gambling (RAiG) aims to address?
There is a perception, fair or not, that affiliates do not play their part in wider industry initiatives in the UK to promote social responsibility and create a safer gambling environment for consumers. In the current climate where there are ongoing calls for tighter gambling regulation and specifically the marketing of gambling, affiliate advertisers have become an easy target. The challenge then is to demonstrate that the sector does indeed take its responsibilities seriously and that it is proactively seeking ways to improve consumer protection.
How has RAiG benefited the gaming industry so far?
We were only established last year so it’s still early days, but at least for the first time there is now a group that can speak with regulators and others on behalf of affiliates so that the sector has some kind of voice when issues which affect it are being discussed.
What is the take of RAiG in the integration of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency in casino affiliate programs?
We don’t have one yet. Our priorities have largely been defined by concerns expressed to us by gambling and advertising regulators. They have so far not mentioned the marketing of blockchain and cryptocurrency as an issue of concern.
What are the plans of Responsible Affiliates in Gambling in 2020?
We are still developing our work programme, but high on the agenda will be how to reduce the marketing material that is sent to self-excluded customers and working with some specialist charities to establish social responsibility training programmes for the affiliate sector.
What trends in casino affiliation do you see in 2020?
In established markets like the UK, Spain and Denmark I think there will be an increasing focus on player retention rather than player recruitment. I would also see gaming operators looking more closely at their ROI to determine which channels work best for them in what continues to be a fast moving digital market.