Sharing best practice in use of data in identification of gambling related harm

Further to our 25 January 2019 posting on the Gambling Commission trialling of “co-creation workshops”, the Commission has now reported on its website that its Insight Team has “hosted a co-creation workshop joining gambling industry stakeholders in sharing best practice in the use of data in the identification of harm”.

The Commission states that:

During the workshop, data analysts and managers of teams responsible for processing relevant datasets shared existing practice including datasets and algorithms currently in use and explored opportunities for strengthening player protection measures via industry collaboration. This included discussions about the design, management and evaluation of data, and, associated challenges and opportunities in big data, data systems, data quality, operations management and academic research.

In the group discussions, we weighed up the pros and cons of the traditional channels versus digital solutions when communicating safer gambling messaging or carrying out customer interactions. The group considered the effectiveness of pop up messaging, tailored communications and consumer self-assessments, and the potential impact of customer journeys designed with risk management in mind.

We have also explored the importance of an evaluation-driven approach in the use of algorithms. Complex algorithms can support processing of high volumes of data, however considering the nature of predictive models, simpler datasets still remain relevant in identifying potential harm.

The group agreed that rather than searching for the finished product – continuity, ongoing refinement and complementing of various datasets are needed in evolving reporting suites which address present and emerging trends in harm identification. The success of the evaluation process is dependent on the co-operation between the operations teams who use the reports to audit account activity and data analysts.

The increase of investment in compliance and risk operations teams has been evident. Challenges around staff training and reliance on individuals to understand the impact they can have on consumers are the main focus of their managers. Providing these teams with the relevant tools to support adherence to processes is seen as a key factor in maximising their effectiveness in recognising accounts that could be at risk.

The workshop was a big first step in industry collaboration and was successful in engaging all parties with the objectives of the day. Operators acknowledged the need to work together to strive for more efficient, effective and innovative tools to help identify risk and help keep consumers safe.   

We will be continuing our work in this area and are currently in the process of planning our next co-creation workshop.

In the interests of wider collaboration, we hope that the Commission will be publicising more widely the detailed information shared during this and other co-creation workshops for the benefit of all UK licensed gambling operators.