Sunday, 14 October 2012

A Brief Re-cap from the NCRG and G2E: Part 2

In the second of our re-caps from the NCRG and G2E conferences we provide a summary from the G2E Panel on Proactive Process: Responsible Gaming Online. The session was chaired by Connie Jones, Director of Responsible Gaming at IGT and included Joachim Haeusler, Head of Responsible Gaming at, Hillevi Stuhrenberg, Head of Responsible Gaming at Betsson, and Simo Dragicevic of Bet Buddy.

Simo opened up the discussion with an overview of the evolution of responsible gaming tools over the past decade and outlined the factors that are driving the adoption of new responsible gaming tools. Whilst regulation continues to be the major factor driving innovation and adoption in responsible gaming, there are increasingly more examples of how commercial B2C operators are adopting innovative and new advanced tools to help to protect vulnerable players in the absence of regulation. 

For example, Joachim Hauesler, head of responsible gaming at, the world's largest listed commercial B2C internet gambling operator, described how are using algorithms to detect problematic gambling behaviour to meet regulatory requirements in the Spanish iGaming market, specifically to support decisions as to whether players should be allowed to increase limits. Also Hillevi from Betsson, the Swedish internet gambling B2C and B2B operator, discussed a new online self-help tool that Betsson is piloting with their players which provides proactive online support from their players who feel they are at risk of problem gambling. The support is provided by an independent treatment provider and is voluntary, and any player information given to the treatment provider is confidential and not made available to Betsson. Both of these are great examples of how the commercial sector is seeing the benefits of implementing more personalized responsible gaming tools to help protect vulnerable players, whilst also building their brand equity and customer sustainability. We think it's very encouraging to see some of the recommendations from our industry expert review paper on CSR in gambling written in 2010 now being implemented in the market today.

Connie Jones then opened up the panel discussion with the audience. Much of the interest and questioning was around how B2C operators were using predictive analytics to better understand player behaviors to make personalized interventions. A topic that was discussed in the previous panel surfaced again too - how should operators best share data on self-exclusion? There appeared unanimous agreement on the need for centralized self-exclusion approaches, with Hillevi highlighting the approach to central self-exclusion adopted by the Danish internet gaming market. Simo also challenged the panel further, asking whether at some point in the future operators should collaborate and share not just self-exclusion data but also other player data, such as deposit and timing limits, to offer a unified responsible gaming platform across all operators for players. Whilst it's far to say this suggestion didn't receive overwhelming support from the panel, we feel it's another 'blue sky' thinking idea, that along with the adoption of universal predictive algorithms that was discussed previously, could one day become a standard practice in future regulated gaming markets.