Focus Gaming News spoke with Vlad Slyusarenko, CMO of TVBET and CEO of Bet on Good Foundation, Ukrainian.
Exclusive interview.- Bet on Good Foundation is a charitable fund founded by Ukrainians in Poland which in addition to overseeing the charitable initiatives of all representatives of the iGaming market has a strong commitment to those affected by the war. Focus Gaming News spoke with Vlad Slyusarenko, CMO of TVBET and CEO of Bet on Good Foundation, Ukrainian, who has lived in Kyiv since the start of the war.
We know that you are from Ukraine and are still staying there. How is the situation with ordinary citizens of Ukraine now? How do you live? How do you work?
You know, it may seem unbelievable, but you get used to everything. Maybe these are strange habits, it seems that everyone lives a normal life, but the feeling of fear and responsibility is dulled due to constant air raid alerts and massive attacks. Life in the war is somewhat reminiscent of ordinary life.
You work, run, and walk the dog, but at any moment, a new missile attack may begin, which has been gradually destroying your city, the ancient and very beautiful European capital – Kyiv, or any other city of Ukraine for 10 months now.
You live regularly helping the military, friends in need, and displaced people who have lost their homes. You always give part of your income to charity and help people with water, food, and housing. You live every day knowing that brave men are fighting for your country on the front lines; these are people like you, but who had the courage and strength to enlist in the army and defend our country.
We wake up and work in the name of these heroes, inspired by them. We also try to be better, to do a lot of good.
We see that you have been actively promoting the idea of the fund for the second month already, I subscribed to you on Facebook, and I see the number of interviews that you gave. Tell us and our audience what is your foundation about and what is it for.
Yes, my colleagues and I have been working in the iGaming industry for many years, and each of us, when the war began, tried our best to support people affected by the war with volunteer initiatives.
But a couple of months ago, we decided that working together could be much more helpful for Ukrainians. Under the banner of the Bet on Good Foundation, we are actively and diligently promoting the idea of cluster/team charity. We want to gather one prominent force from the maximum of companies representing the iGaming industry so that this force can quickly, accurately, and on a large scale response to the world’s pressing problems.
Today there is a war in Ukraine. Just think, over 30,000 civilians, women and children, mothers and fathers, and someone’s friends and classmates died from missile attacks, occupation, and bombs … 90 per cent of missile attacks hit on ordinary apartment buildings, residential infrastructure, and heating and electrical hubs. In many large developed, and beautiful cities, people sit for days without electricity and heating.
We cannot stand aside, so every day, we do our best to draw the attention of our industry to the issue and to attract help from partners who have responded to help Ukraine and Ukrainians stay alive and keep faith in the best.
What companies have already helped Ukraine? What does this help usually consist of?
During this time, we visited events from SBC: we gave a speech at SBC Awards, SBC Awards Latinoamerica and most recently we went with the fund’s stand to SiGMA Europe. And what is nice, a lot of people come up to us and talk, ask questions and listen, think and discuss how to help Ukraine.
We have already inspired many companies to help, for example, the whole wonderful TVBET team actively supports us, and recently we became close friends with the amazing Betbazar. Many people could hear our voices thanks to Nana Schneider’s sensitive heart and her ideas. Some companies prefer to help and remain in the background; with some, we are only negotiating and considering those initiatives where support can be sent.
For example, very soon, we are launching an excellent campaign, “Feed those who need,” in Zaporizhzhia, where, together with one respected restaurant in the city, we’ll feed 1,000 – 1,500 people a day with a full-fledged diet! These people lost their homes due to occupation or rocket attacks and now, living in a new city, need support.
For only 1500-2000 euros, we can feed so many people all day, so we are now actively looking for partners with whom we can do this.
Every day there will be a new partner, a flag with his logo will hang in the restaurant hall, and in return, each citizen will write “Thank you” on the picture. Then this picture, with thousands of “thank you,” we will give to the partner as a symbol of our gratitude for the fact that he bets on good.
We saw your booth at Sigma. It was very unusual to see a charity fund with the booth at the igaming event. Tell us what you went there with and what results were you able to achieve.
You know this was the first time we went to an exhibition with our fund, having our own stand. And we were surprised at how many people shared our pain and expressed support. Sometimes it seemed that our stand was the most popular.
“Ukraine is a very hospitable country. We tried to show that and invited our guests to try some national food and drinks. It was a big surprise for people to find Ukrainian food abroad.”Vlad Slyusarenko, CMO of TVBET and CEO of Bet on Good Foundation.
Also, we brought with us pins with the flag of Ukraine and pins “I Bet on Good” and arranged a donation campaign. For a donation of 20 euros, we gave a pin. And in this way, we managed to raise about 2,000 euros! We are already buying 250 gifts for orphans and preparing 500 food rations for 500 people in Zaporizhzhia, which we will tell you about very soon!
Just 2,000 euros can turn into 750 happy people. Do you understand how easy it is to do good and how important it is now for Ukrainians affected by the war?
The exhibition was challenging for us emotionally. It turned out to be very difficult to tell these horrible stories. But we saw support in people’s eyes, which is the most important thing. Today we have many new friends and contacts.
We have finally opened a bank account, and we can accept partners on the fund board and jointly decide where and for whom we will provide support today, tomorrow, and always.
What are your plans for your foundation for the next year? What will you do when the war in Ukraine ends?
Our immediate prospect is to develop our partner network in order to be able to do large-scale projects, help people repair houses after being hit by missiles, help people with food and water in areas where this is a problem, help our Armed Forces with cars/drones/winter uniforms (after all these are consumables for such a huge war), help children who have lost one or two supporters from the war, help retirees with food packages for a week (pasta, bread, cereals, vegetables and fruits, juice, meat, canned food).
Each project consists of one person in need and, with proper partner support, grows to save hundreds and thousands of people.
In 2023, we really want to establish regular support for the weakest groups of the population – children, mothers with children, and retirees. Regular support is when a person feels cared for every day and knows that he/she is not alone, that even in such a difficult time, forces of good appear!
Also, we are developing an Armed Forces support program with some of our partners because two countries and about 1 million invaders are fighting against Ukraine. Our army must be dressed and shod, fed and strong. It must also feel the support of the people and the world because it protects not only Ukraine. We all heard what the officials of the occupiers said – their initial goals were to capture half of Europe. So Ukrainians defend Europe.
And finally, we are actively looking for partners ready to support the regular purchase of generators that can provide people with electricity. In Ukraine, there have already been about 10 massive missile attacks (100-150 missiles and drones a day), and most of them were aimed at power plants, transformers, and thermal plants in order to deprive people of light and heating, and create a complete blackout and collapse in cities.
We are looking for support to purchase warm clothes, generators, power banks, charging stations, mobile heating systems, etc. We cannot leave our people in trouble and are doing everything to provide large-scale assistance and support. We ask you not to stand aside, and even with small donations, but to be part of this great force for good.
Thank you again for this opportunity and interview! I would be happy for any support. Subscribe to our social networks, look at our website, and write us. Let’s find a way where we will support people together with you and help them survive in this challenging time.