ESG Gaming & The Inspiring Story of Lee Willows


Lee Willows, Founder and CEO of ESG Gaming, a non-profit and award-winning group that focuses on social responsibility, sustainability, and harm minimization, believes that is imperative to “manage the narrative” to prevent gambling addiction and nurture safer iGaming practices.

During a session at the Esports Betting Conference at one of the biggest iGaming events in the industry, ICE London 2024, Lee Willows shared how he used his knowledge in the field of consumer protection, safeguarding, and player integrity, and how to improve the current situation of the responsible gambling scene.

Moreover, Willows discussed his charitable work and shared how he established one of the biggest charities in the iGaming realm. Willows also talked about sensitive topics such as suicide and hitting “rock bottom”, emphasizing that published and operators from the eSports community must be mindful of the young, and with that, vulnerable fanbase.

There is a lot of excitement around the potential of gambling operators getting involved with esports which is great, but also, like alcohol, gambling can be an incredibly addictive substance. 

Lee Willows

The Founder of ESG Gaming took us back in the past and described his first casino experience with a group of friends in London, 11 years ago. More specifically, despite not being too keen on the idea, Willows ended up hitting the jackpot and winning £4,000 while playing the slot machines.

However, the happiness was short-lived, as that particular win sent Willows down a spiral of extreme gambling addiction, as that was the turning point and the start of his addiction.

Willows managed to turn his life around and beat the gambling addiction thanks to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, lots of counselling sessions, and thanks to the help of his close friends and family.

It’s incredibly difficult to stop gambling on those machines and on sports. I’d never seen another gambling addict before but suddenly, I was in a room full of them who all had similar stories. 11 years on, I’ve never gambled again.

Lee Willows

This is the main reason that inspired Willows to set up the charity – an organization that helps millions of young people across the world. Additionally, Willows that the group puts special attention on training teachers to educate the younger generation on the risks and perils of gambling addiction, instead of the usual “talks” on safer gambling.

The story of Lee Willows is truly an inspirational tale of an individual who has experienced gambling addiction first-hand, battled through it, and lived not just to tell the tale but also to establish a well-respected organization that helps young individuals with educational content and top-tier ESG iGaming advice.

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