To celebrate Pride Month, Malta-based companies Kindred Group and Relax Gaming have partnered to create what they describe as “industry-first” LGBTQ+ avatars, available exclusively for Kindred customers.
The idea for the avatars was born during one of Kindred’s LGBTQ+ Network meetings, during which it was noted that avatars are a method of self-identification in the online world and that as such, people who identify as LGBTQ+ should be able to use the avatars in the same way as everyone else.
The concept was then presented to Kindred’s partner, Relax Gaming, which it says was thrilled to get on board, and created the two avatars on the same day.
The company requested one “masculine and one femme character”, and Relax designed these in a similar way to the ‘HexaBingo’/’HexaPro’ avatars.
The LGBTQ+ avatars are intended to blend in with other options while providing an alternative for customers to present themselves online.
Explaining the need for the avatars, Katharine Arnsby, Poker and Bingo Team Lead at Kindred said: “From a customer perspective, it’s important because when you are part of a minority group it can be harder to see yourself reflected in the world”.
“In the LGBTQ+ Network, we understand this feeling. We recognise the sense of being ‘less’ or ‘other’. In simple terms, we do not want to contribute to that feeling for our customers even if it makes us no extra money”, she added.
Ms Arnsby hopes the introduction of the Avatars will help Kindred employees feel proud to work for an inclusive company, whatever their gender or sexual identity.
“It’s amazing to work for a company that is open to suggestions like this. It’s a big world, and there are a lot of different people out there. The difference is vast from when I started in this industry 20 years ago, and it’s thanks to individuals and companies like Kindred driving change”, she concluded.
Today’s action comes just a week after the Commission fined two operators owned by Kindred Group plc a combined £7.2 million (€8.9 million) and is the largest enforcement case taken on by the regulator
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