Sorin Georgescu, the president of the Romanian Slot Organisers’ Association (Romslot), tells Business Review about the gambling sector’s pro-vaccination campaign, the largest social responsibility initiative carried out so far by a Romanian industry.
By Anda Sebesi
The gambling industry was the first to engage in a pro-vaccination campaign among employees. How was this decision made?
The Romanian gambling industry has reached maturity. In addition to being a major contributor to the state budget, we want to be connected and involved in the life of the local community. We joined forces and mobilised an entire industry, the most important players of the Romanian gambling sector, to develop the largest social responsibility campaign you have ever seen.
We have 45,000 employees who have all felt the effects of the pandemic. Most of them are young, their lives have been turned upside down, and the biggest problem was that they had no motivation to get vaccinated. These people saw that the gambling industry was the first sector to get suspended every time the incidence of COVID-19 cases went up, despite the fact that we had no outbreaks in our venues and we made big investments to comply with all the rules. It was a natural step for us to take part in this vaccination campaign. Every employee who gets vaccinated becomes an ambassador for immunisation; they may even be able to convince their family, friends, and customers.
What did the investment entail and why did you choose to develop a nationwide campaign ?
We are talking about an unprecedented mobilisation of forces. We knew clearly that we had to combine online and offline, digital and classic. The first step of the campaign was showing employees and customers that we were united. All the big companies displayed the same message on their doors all over Romania: “We’re playing Responsibly, We are getting Vaccinated.” The biggest players in the industry posted messages on their social media accounts every day. We are talking about accounts with millions of followers which promoted the stories and testimonials of our colleagues.
The TV campaign was the most expensive part, and it was fully funded by the industry. It is made up of atypical, disruptive ads. They contain authentic, unscripted messages of our colleagues; we even gave up using a soundtrack because we wanted these commercials to stand out through their simplicity. And the reaction from customers, employees, and authorities has been extraordinary.
What’s the story behind the ad?
We wanted to turn to people from the gambling industry and their stories. The stars of these ads are real people with various roles, from those working in game rooms to middle and top management from companies in this sector. They revealed their fears, their experiences, the difficulties they went through during the pandemic and their hopes for tomorrow, as well as the reasons why they got vaccinated.
We also wanted to show something that many people probably don’t know, namely the fact that we are one of the biggest employers; we have 45,000 employees throughout Romania, with various specialisations. They grow up with us, they build careers inside the industry.
These employees all have families and friends to whom they can pass on these messages. The campaign is all about people. We did it for all the workers in the industry, but we also thought about people from other sectors who were equally affected. To draw the line, we are glad that we managed to mobilise and show solidarity in such a sensitive moment.
What is the target of this campaign?
The ultimate goal is to return to normal, to resume the industry’s activity. We aim to reach a vaccination rate of over 70 percent among our employees this summer. The Romanian state is the ultimate winner, as this industry pays daily taxes of almost EUR 2.5 million a day when fully operational, and that money can be used for Romania’s development.