ReportOn: Does the Industry Drive Enough Innovation in Responsible Gambling?

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Leading marketing and social media agency serving the gambling industry GameOn and content marketing agency Ghostfoundry have launched a new initiative called ReportOn. It’s a free quarterly report where industry specialists and stakeholders speak on important hot topics. The goal of the initiative is to spark a discussion on the important matters and how to improve the industry. 

The first edition of ReportOn takes a look at the topic of responsible gambling and whether the industry innovates to encourage moderation since a recent study by GambleAware seems to show the industry is still lacking in that aspect. 

Industry Specialists’ Thoughts

Leigh Nissim, CEO & founder of Future Anthem, believes that the industry is actually making a lot of progress because of the scrutiny it’s been subjected to and the high expectations it has to live up to. Betsson Group’s head of responsible gaming, Eduards Jakubov, also noted that the industry had progressed tremendously. 

FSB’s head of platform, Achilleas Chrysafis agrees with this. Chrysafis admitted that the starting point was low but followed that since then, a lot has changed.  Better Change’s co-founder Victoria Reed compared responsible gambling to leading a healthy lifestyle:

“No one wants to be overweight and unhealthy, but we can all push ourselves more to do what we know is the right thing. It’s the same for operators. It is not healthy to have problem gamblers on the books, and it’s certainly not good for business. So, while I think they (operators) don’t get enough credit for the work they’re already doing, it is true that they could always do a little more.” 

Speaking of doing more, the participants in ReportOn were asked what is stopping operators from pushing for extra innovation.

Future Anthem’s CEO commented that the levels of operational and financial commitment differ significantly between geographies and largely as a result of the regulations. Nissim noted that Great Britain is perhaps the most advanced in this aspect currently. The CEO added that an operator’s own budget also plays a huge part, and innovation can be expensive even for the greatest of brands.

Jakubov from Betsson also pointed out that local markets often play by their own rules, making it especially hard to push for a universal innovation. However, he added that operators are perhaps not incentivized enough to innovate either. 

The Importance of Moving Forward

Better Change gave consideration to the fact that it isn’t only a matter of budget, and often big companies prefer sticking to what they do best instead of taking risks. It usually falls on the shoulders of new industry entrants to make changes and share a new vision. 

ReportOn proceeds by laying down the fact that industry should constantly be on the move, lest it goes stagnant. 

Chrysafis from FSB confirms that fact. The head of the platform noted that gambling as a whole isn’t fully accepted by the masses and that a “pause button” may have devastating effects. 

Nissim from Future Anthem and Victoria Reed from Better Change added that if the industry doesn’t manage to balance itself, it will likely be forcefully regulated from the outside. They pointed out that those regulations are usually crude in idea and execution, leading to a suboptimal situation. 

Technology as a Solution

The chief executive officer of CEGOAllan Auning-Hansen, highlighted another aspect of the topic: that few operators have ever successfully explored the area of affordability and accurately estimating and/or understanding a player’s ability to fund their gambling activity. Auning-Hansen emphasized the need to overcome this huge challenge. 

He shared his company’s way of doing things.

“When we look at retention as a discipline in Sweden, of course, the one-time-only bonus limit sets some barriers. So we combat churn in multiple ways.”

CEGO’s CEO explained that the company’s platform performs retention by design. They run only on the Lyckost platform and are filled with gamification that provides fun and entertainment instead of a simple drive for monetary gain. Some people play for the gameplay rather than the money. Additionally, the platform has a low bet limit that secures even long engagement with the platform wouldn’t be financially devastating to a user. 

CEGO is always introducing new games and keeping fan interest alive and is keeping a live community through constant engagement on television and social media platforms, ensuring customer loyalty.  

Michael Golembo from SkillOnNet also spoke about the technological solutions his company is using. 

“For example, we recently launched a new tool – Safemate via PlayOJO – which allows customers to track how much money they have spent, won, or lost as well as how much time they have played over the last six months. If a player is potentially at risk, they are given personal feedback and tailored communications to help prevent problem gambling from occurring.”

And speaking of technology, many believe that the future of responsible and well-regulated gambling is aligned with the future of artificial intelligence.

” Our Game Data Science approach to Safer Play means that we can monitor game sessions, and our AI predicts and classifies player behaviors in real-time. As such, our algorithms are able to spot risky play before traditional responsible gambling practices,” Future Anthem said.

Responsible Gambling: A Continued Journey 

The inaugural ReportOn finally confirmed that responsible gambling offers a lot of innovation opportunities. 

“We are one of the main industries that have the capacity and tools to use data, customer knowledge, and information to innovate and create new tools and measurements needed to help solve problem gambling and help customers gamble responsibly,” Golembo from SkillOnNet stated.

FSB is also optimistic. Chrysafis pointed out that responsible gambling has been a concept for only half a decade and has already gone a long way.

 “Beyond the basic tools of player education and self-exclusion, the science of responsible gambling has a lot of scopes to develop,” Better Change’s representative said, trusting the industry’s technological potential. 

Future Anthem concluded:

“The gambling industry is a tremendous combination of technology, entertainment, risk, regulation e-commerce, finance, and social interaction. Data runs throughout. As such, we would suggest that data provides the greatest opportunity for innovation and should be applied across the industry to improve the player experience responsibly for everyone.”

As final thoughts, it feels reassuring to see such highly esteemed industry specialists being optimistic and committed to driving responsible gambling forward. As ReportOn mentions, there will be challenges, but with hard enough work, they can be overcome.

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