The RGA has today published Behavioural Analytics Good Practice Guidelines intended to help remote gambling operators when they are developing or purchasing systems and to enable them to recognise problematic online gambling behaviour and interact with identified customers to address the behaviours that are of concern and minimise gambling-related harm.
It states on its website as follows:
- Online gambling operators collect and retain a great deal of data about their customers. It is incumbent on them to use that information to combat crime and provide a safer gambling environment for their customers. These guidelines primarily focus on the second of these, although it is acknowledged that the gambling patterns of problem gamblers and those gambling using the proceeds of crime can be similar.
- The guidelines draw on the experience of RGA members and other stakeholders and take into account the latest research. The paper covers areas such as operator policies, markers of harm, customer interactions, recording and reporting, staff training and evaluation.
- The use of data in this way is still in its early days and whatever the industry does now will undoubtedly improve with the benefit of additional research and shared learning. In the meantime we have a collective responsibility to use what we do know, and can do, to the best effect. Although many operators already have systems that go far beyond what is described in these guidelines, we hope they will provide a cross-industry benchmark and a sound starting point.
Clive Hawkswood, the RGA’s Chief Executive, is reported as saying: “it is important to recognise that data and behavioural analytics are not a silver bullet that will solve all of the problems associated with minimising gambling-related harm online. However, their effective use will increasingly prove vital when seeking to achieve that”.
It is also worth noting that, within the body of the guidelines, comment is made as follows:
“For the online gambling industry in particular, because of the account-based nature of the gambling that takes place and the data that provides, the proportionate and effective use of behavioural analytics presents a major opportunity to improve the way the sector meets these challenges. Much can and should be done already and the intention is that these guidelines will assist all operators to at least have structures and processes in place that begin to make it easier and better to identify and limit problematic gambling behaviour”.
We recommend that the guidelines (that can be downloaded below) are read in conjunction with the Gambling Commission’s newly published “Customer interaction guidance for remote gambling operators”.