One of these actions was the launch, in February 2021, of the Extraordinary Chair for Research on Responsible Gaming and its Communication, a joint initiative of ONCE and the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), one of the most prestigious universities in Spain.
The Chair was created with the fundamental objective of promoting the understanding of Responsible Gaming and transferring this knowledge, arising from research, to the public and, especially, to professionals related to this matter. To achieve this, the initiative was part of the Faculty of Information Sciences of the UCM, under the direction of Professor Ubaldo Cuesta, PhD in Psychology and Director of the Laboratory of Neurocommunication and Cognition of that same Faculty.
Since its launch, the Chair has acted as a research instrument that exercises pedagogy, both in the research itself and in the communication of Responsible Gaming, with the aim of becoming a documented reference for third parties. The psychosocial understanding of gambling has also been investigated, as well as the possible consequences linked to pathological behaviors related to excessive gambling, with initiatives and measures to prevent it.
Among the most important milestones developed by the Chair, which has a benchmark website for the sector (www.catedraonceucm.com), was the performance of a scientific study to improve communications (via email) used by the ONCE gaming area in its relations with customers of different types, especially those that may gamble excessively, on the Internet.
The field work of this study has involved holding several "focus groups" with different population samples, as well as conducting personal interviews with participants in these focus groups for the preparation of reports and comparisons, breakdowns of strengths and weaknesses of communications and advice from experts in communication and advertising. All with the aim of establishing a proposal that complements and improves the effectiveness of ONCE's Responsible Gaming policy.
The Chair has also formalized personal interviews with researchers, scientists, university students or experts in the gaming sector on the reality of communications with players, analyzing them and drawing conclusions. And it has consulted on all of this with various associations of rehabilitated gamblers through the Spanish Federation of Rehabilitated Gambling Players (FEJAR).
Likewise, the Chair has carried out a study with neuroresearch techniques regarding the communication that ONCE undertakes in the area of Responsible Gaming, in order to continue advancing the improvement of these messages. The ONCE Responsible Gaming model and the first results of the work of the Extraordinary Chair for Research on Responsible Gaming and its Communication were presented at the First International Conference on Communication and Health before relevant interest groups from different countries. The bibliographic reports on Responsible Gaming are being promoted and a repository in the environment of the website is being prepared with the latest research at a national and international level.
These are some of the most outstanding works carried out by this Chair, born from the firm commitment that ONCE has maintained with society since its creation 84 years ago. A commitment that is articulated in the provision of services and improvement of the quality of life of the people who need it most and in the protection of its customers, so that gaming is always that, a game, and never a problem. For this reason, the ONCE lotteries are always accompanied by the words responsible, safe and social, that define them and give them a unique and inalienable identity for their entity.