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Launch of Corporate Social Responsibility Programme and Website of Foundation

Press Release : Friday December 19 2014Launch of Corporate Social Responsibility Programme and Website of FoundationThe Responsible Gaming Foundation is a newly-set government foundation which supports research, awareness campaigns and support services in relation to responsible gaming. Moreover the Foundation supports and funds project addressing activities alternative to gaming. During this launch, the €150,000 Corporate Social Responsibility Programme (CSRP) was launched together with the Foundation's website and social media pages. CSRP will fund initiatives by companies and organisations to manage projects related to leisure activities alternative to gaming/gambling and the website will provide free professional guidance chat services for problem gamblers.Hon. Herrera gave a thorough insight about the Foundation including its objectives and long term aims. He stated that the gaming Industry is one of the biggest local industries yet its negative impacts cannot be ignored. At EU level, between 0.5% and 2% of those who make use of gaming services end up with some sort of addiction. The fact that youths were 5 times more exposed to addiction than adults was also highlighted. Hon. Herrera concluded the speech by stating that the Foundation will strengthen further the gaming industry in Malta since both the gaming operators and the players would have peace of mind. Hon, Herrera stated that ''Measures stated in the 2015 budget will see the launch of Gaming Malta, which together with the Gaming Academy will continue to strengthen the gaming industry in a responsible manner''.Hon. Silvio Schembri, as chairman of the Foundation, officially launched the Corporate Social Responsibility Programme (CSRP). He stated that one of the programmes mentioned in the business plan of the Foundation is that of the Corporate Social Responsibility Programme (CSRP). This programme is aimed at giving something back to the society, with the money the foundation collects from the gaming sector. The Corporate Social Responsibility project has an allocated budget of €150,000 and will be encouraging companies and organisations to embark on projects related to activities alternative to gaming. Funds will be available as from January 2015 and organisations will be encouraged to submit an applications form together with a detailed project description. Such projects will have the aspect of social responsibility at the core of their objectives. Hon. Schembri also highlighted the Chat Feature that the RGF website will be offering to service users. Problem gamblers together with their dependents will be able to benefit from such guidance services delivered through professional trained in the fields. Hon. Schembri concluded by stating that ''The chat feature will be giving support in conjunction with the support call centre which, as a Foundation, we will be launching early next year''.Mr Patrick Demanuele, Chief Operations Officer and Mr Anthony Farrugia, Director at Portomaso Gaming, stated that the company will support the mission of the Responsible Gaming Foundation and all of its objectives. Portomaso Gaming is a firm believer that the Foundation will foster peace of mind among the operators and players alike. A donation was given by the company to the Foundation to aid the Corporate Social Responsibility Fund. Mr Francois Piccione, staff member of the Responsible Gaming Foundation gave a small demonstration of the main features of the website together with social media pages which will serve as the main tool of communication with the general public.

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