Online gambling grows up

Online gambling grows up

The online gambling industry first emerged nearly 20 years ago. Today it is a global industry worth $423 billion[1] and still growing. It faces intense scrutiny from both the media and regulators, due, in some part, to a perceived failure to prevent under-18s and vulnerable people from gambling.

Leading gambling operators have taken note. On top of strict age and anti-money-laundering checks, many have set up responsible gambling teams who identify problem or vulnerable people early and make sure they are protected. The operators see a benefit from this focus on social responsibility that goes beyond compliance.

Responsible gambling protects players who have been identified as “at risk”. Sometimes the operator does this by analysing gambling behaviour. It can also be done through player self-identification, but the onus is on the operator to block the player’s transactions. Intelligence from wider identity data inside and outside the business can also stop the player simply setting up a new account under a different name.

Recently, the head of regulatory affairs at Sky Betting and Gaming, Kira Mendelsohn, revealed: “In measuring and analysing data, we are able to broaden the range of people we engage with and begin to understand individual customer behaviour. This means we are able to further identify those players who may be at risk, interact with them at key points and minimise this risk.

With these analytics, we can build our knowledge and share this across the industry so we work together to help protect the most vulnerable players."

There is an extra benefit to regular monitoring of player behaviour. Operators have found that the technology they use to identify a problem gambler can also highlight highly engaged and potential VIP players. The responsibility towards vulnerable players is definitely more than a compliance exercise, it makes sound business sense too.

Sources: [1] Morgan Stanley Global Gaming Report 2015

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