Gambling is not a game. This simple word game is carved into the mission of any gambling company in the world. Although, for example, in the US, only 2%-3% of the population meets the criteria to have a gambling disorder, in this case, the famous phrase “one is enough” is fully applied.
Therefore, all major gambling companies dedicate efforts to prevent compulsive gambling disorder that may consist of advertising campaigns, donations to organizations that promote safer gambling (BeGambleAware, GamCare, etc.), and several internal campaigns to make their products safer for customers.
For example, for the upcoming Responsible Gambling Week, the online gambling company 888, disclosed the measures it will take to protect its players across the web. Their plan has seven focus areas and adopts measures to evolve, taking care of the most important asset of a gambling company: its players.
In what areas should gambling firms focus on preventing gambling addiction?
The first focus areas should be related to legal compliance: Anti-money laundering, underage gambling, licensing, or guaranteeing access to a particular self-exclusion program.
The anti-money laundering and underage gambling policies ensure safe games for all players and are crucial for a healthy gambling environment. Self-exclusion programs are a powerful tool for when a player or operator identifies any unhealthy pattern. For example, the UK has created the GamCare program that must be introduced by all operators offering services in the country.
Verifying the content on the ads, newsletters, TV campaigns is also crucial, and it must be ensured that all information that reaches people is secure and doesn’t induce any gambling problem or invites betting beyond normal.
It’s impossible to take care of millions of players without the right support. In general, a gambling company must have strong relationships with gambling organizations, get certifications from companies such as eCOGRA, continuously audit its internal processes and software, etc. All this together allows a gambling company to offer a safe environment for players and build trust among players.
Responsible Gaming Team
Major gambling companies devote many resources to responsible gaming teams, which in the end are responsible for identifying and acting accordingly when any sign of gambling disorder appears.
All members of the responsible gaming teams must be trained to identify any addiction to the game and even prevent problems according to the gaming patterns. It is essential that people who will have direct contact with players learn to handle a gambling addiction conversation.
Monitoring the games
As it is impossible to verify all players and games (an online casino can have millions of customers and over 200 different games running 24/7), artificial intelligence plays a leading role in game monitoring.
An automated tool is needed to check all games to recognize patterns such as more time spent or money at stake. Any behavior that differs from a regular gambling session must be marked and sent to the responsible gaming teams for in-depth analysis.
Any company that seeks long-time success must implement a continuous improvement program with models like “plan-do-check-act” that allows all team members, even senior management, to be aware of any problem and improve the process continuously.
For gaming companies, a continuous improvement program involves external audits to all processes (like self-exclusion, software, human resources, etc.) and implementing several organizational changes to make the process sustainable over time.
Investing adequate resources to prevent any form of gambling addiction is essential to ensure the sustainability of a gambling company. It’s not just another law to comply with, but a philosophy to be preached daily.
In a challenging industry such as online gambling, being one step ahead in preventing gambling problems is the right bet for the future.