Friday, 18 March 2011

Part One: Introducing VeriPlay, the Secure Cross-operator Self-exclusion Service

Self‐exclusion has been acknowledged as an important and effective means for players to protect themselves from excessive gambling by excluding themsleves from gambling for periods of time.  However gamblers can be their own worst enemy by excluding themselves from one operator and then betting with another.  This highlights a major weakness in the self‐exclusion process - self‐excluded players can sign‐up to different operators and continue gambling even though they have self‐excluded themselves from other sites.  Whilst the idea of providing the opportunity for a player to self-exclude from more than one operator is beneficial to the player, operators currently have no means of identifying whether their players have self‐excluded themselves from other online operators. 

Self-exclusion is a licensing requirement in many jurisdictions such as in the UK, which recorded 62,957 self-exclusions in 2009/10.  The published CEN Workshop Agreement on Remote Responsible Gambling Measures recommends that operators should offer self-exclusion for a minimum of six months.  Whilst the weakness in the self-exclusion process has been recognised by the industry for some time, complex issues and challenges have halted the adoption of an effective solution within the industry.  Today we are kicking off a series of initiatives related to our new cross-operator self-exclusion service called VeriPlay, with today’s post introducing some of the key concepts of how VeriPlay works. 

VeriPlay is a fast, safe and secure central counterparty solution developed to meet the need for an industry‐wide self‐exclusion service.   VeriPlay helps operators and the industry to more effectively use their player data to protect vulnerable players by undertaking an intermediary role in the self‐exclusion process.  As an intermediary VeriPlay will maintain a central database of self‐excluded players, known as the ‘grey list’.  Self‐excluded player details are safely and securely uploaded to VeriPlay using anonymised player data

Log-in via Secure Web Services or Portal 
Veriplay can be accessed either via secure web services or via a web portal.  Whilst we envisage that the majority operators will use web services to integrate with VeriPlay, since it enables low‐touch straight trough processing, like geo‐filtering and ID verification, a benefit of the web portal is that it allows for easy access for both land-based and online operators.

Operator Account Page 
Once an operator has a VeriPlay account they can quickly check to see whether any of their players are on the grey list via the Check Your Players functionality.  Operators can also safely and securely add self-excluded players to the grey list via the Share and Help functionality.

Operator data is always safe with VeriPlay. The service meets and exceeds industry security standards and a secure encryption algorithm ensures data always remains anonymous and meaningless to anyone except the operators sending and receiving the data.

VeriPlay’s player matching algorithm provides a grading of matching confidence for operators.  The service is configurable to add further data combinations that operators wish to use and can be configured to only provide 100% matches if required.  All VeriPlay matching results are automatically sent direct to the operator's mail box.

What Next?
The gambling industry has in the past tackled many of the CSR and sustainability issues on the front foot and in a collaborative manner with all stakeholders and such an approach is key for cross-operator self-exclusion to work.  We are now collaborating with a number of stakeholders to assess the next steps required to start rolling-out the service, including leading providers of problem gambling prevention and support services like GamCare, who are working in partnership with the industry and the University of Salford on self-exclusion and other gambling sustainability initiatives.

Responsible gaming codes and provisions require operators to take all available means to help identify and protect vulnerable players and VeriPlay is an important and progressive step towards meeting these obligations.  VeriPlaywill be of interest to any online gambling operator that puts responsible gaming at the heart of its business practices.  The more operators that use the service, the more effective it becomes, both in terms of player protection and reducing customer attrition.

We plan to organise a webinar to walk through in more detail how VeriPlay works and will post details of the webinar in due course.  If you are interested in using VeriPlay or would like to receive further information then please contact us.