Responsible VIP management in the spotlight

A GamblingCompliance article published today, entitled “Former VIP Gambler Bites Back At A Segment Under Threat”features comments made by David Clifton and his co-panellists (Dan Waugh and Jon Duffy) during a GamblingCompliance “Responsible VIP Management” webinar broadcast on 12 November 2019. That webinar can be accessed on Vimeo here.

The article (that you can download below) also features comments made by Tony Parente, an ex-gambling addict who now works with charity Gordon Moody on education initiatives, questioning the ethics of rewarding high-rollers. Those comments were made at last week’s KnowNow “Responsible Marketing for Gambling Operators” Conference, attended by David.

The title of the article takes its cue from Parente telling the conference audience that: “When I hear ‘VIP’, I just think ‘mug punter'”.  He added that, although he is not “anti-gambling”, he nevertheless believes that the reliance of UK operators on a small group of high-spending players should be closely examined.

David’s comment during the “Responsible VIP Management” webinar that is quoted in today’s GamblingCompliance article was: “There will always be VIPs while inducements to gamble are legal”. With that in mind, we advise all UK licensed gambling operators to bear in mind the following extract from the Gambling Commission’s Customer Interaction” guidance (for both remote gambling operators and non-remote gambling operators) that came into force on 31 October 2019:

Some indicators of harm, such as high staking behaviour, can look similar to VIP and high-value customer activity. Even if you think the customer can afford it, they may still be experiencing gambling harms. Your enhanced contact with your VIPs means you have many opportunities to get to know them well and make better informed decisions.

  • Train your staff to know their roles and responsibilities, and ensure they are supported and able to act promptly when they spot or are alerted to indicators of harm. This includes your VIP teams.
  • Take safer gambling seriously for all customers, including VIPs, and not let commercial considerations override customer protection. This means your VIP customers get the same level of protection as your other customers.