Player Protection and Accountability– Who’s in Charge of the Solution?
Picture this – legislators, operators, and educators in a room together to discuss player protection in the iGaming industry. How do you think it went? You don’t need to guess – we’ll tell you.
In a conversation at SBC North America on leadership and solution-oriented thinking, some may find it surprising that ex-gambling addicts and operators alike have aligned feelings on responsible gaming and what the next steps should be for the industry.
This is what they had to say.
Data is Power
“The solution to responsible gaming initiatives in the U.S. today is real-time action plans,” said David Rebuck, Director of the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement. Seemingly, the only way the industry sees a sustainable future is with responsible gaming practices at the top of the priority list.
Well, where is the industry headed a year from now? 5 years? A decade? Martin Lycka, Senior Vice President of Responsible Gaming at Entain, struck a chord by pointing out that “all aspects of data are recorded and tracked forever – there is no privacy” – particularly among the younger internet-savvy demographic. Here is why this is a good thing.
Think about it: tracking and measuring data of digital customers to perform effective and relevant player protection and marketing strategies has become the standard practice. Eventually, all players will have a long history of data that can be used not just to predict risk but to provide educational resources using data gathered over time.
Because iGaming is a relatively new playing turf, it is imperative that educators have access to data so that solutions are always leading the conversation. Shared research made available is the only way to really push forward the necessity of responsible gaming practices as the base standard for the industry.
The True Cost
Paul Buck, CEO of Epic Risk Management, founded the company after battling a gambling addiction that cost him £4.3 million over the course of nine years. The goal of ERM? To partner with major operators and companies to ensure players remain protected from gambling-related harm.
We have said it once before and we will say it again – making sure players can afford what they are spending is at the heart of responsible gaming. Rebuck said it best: that operators are not as interested in selling their product as they are in finding something that successfully intervenes on risky behaviors as a best practice.
“We want our markets to be populated by happy and healthy customers”-Martin Lycka, SVP for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling
Accountability Across the Board
How can an industry that by nature has high risk care more for the wellbeing of their customers than others? Well, our take is that because the stakes are higher, there is more necessity to prioritize real-time problem gaming prevention.
With the legalization or online sports betting in the U.S. came data transparency. And the more data is accessible, the more available support and protection is to players, operators, and educators alike.
“iGaming has the biggest population and is the greatest concern for problematic gaming”– Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., New York State Senator
Be Ahead of the Curve
The future of responsible iGaming lies in risk assessment and flagging risky behavior in real-time. So how do we build a predictive model that protects not just players but operators alike? An AI-based marketing platform is the clear solution to use both historical and real-time data because if you are not ahead of the curve, you’re already behind it. And to our pleasant surprise, all stakeholders involved want the same thing.
Marketing for responsible gaming may sound a bit contradictory but acknowledging the different player levels from low-risk to high-risk is how operators keep their customers safe through campaigns personalized by risk-level. We know more today than we ever have and with legislation backing the movement, the future of the industry is rooted in regulated player safety so that everyone can walk away as a winner.