Impact Of COVID-19 On Online Gambling Behaviour
In our previous blog about online problem gamblers in these COVID-19 times, we noted that we have seen an increase in online gambling during the pandemic and how there is a real concern regarding the increased risk of gambling related problems.
Now, July 2021, further data from The Gambling Commission shows how the evolving COVID-19 lockdown measures have impacted online gambling behaviour in Great Britain.
According to the BBC, search interest in online casinos has hit an all-time high in the UK since lockdown began.
The same research suggested that gamblers are also spending more time and money during lockdown.
While gambling in the UK has dropped overall, given that bookmaker shops have been closed for long periods, online industries such as slots, poker, casino and virtual gaming have seen a significant increase.
The ease in which a gambler can now place a bet at the tip of their fingers, as opposed to having to physically enter a shop to do so, is a pressing concern for the UK Gambling Commission.
Recognising signs of problem gambling
Problem gambling is the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the toll it takes on your life. Gambling means that you’re willing to risk something you value in the hope of receiving something of even greater value.
Gambling can stimulate the brain’s reward system much like drugs or alcohol can, leading to addiction. If you have a problem with compulsive gambling, you may continually chase bets that lead to losses, hide your behaviour, deplete savings, accumulate debt, or even resort to theft or fraud to support your addiction.
Compulsive gambling is a serious condition that can destroy lives. Although treating compulsive gambling can be challenging, many people who struggle with compulsive gambling have found help through professional treatment.
Recognising signs of problem gambling online are often subtle. Indicators can be sporadic, spread across multiple chats and agents, and in the fast-paced worlds of customer support and retention, common cues can easily be missed.
This results in vulnerable players going unnoticed, leading to severe consequences for both the customer and the operator.
While it remains imperative that chat agents do their very best to try and detect warning signs of problem gambling, they can’t be expected to catch everything. They need help, and with today’s technology, it is finally available.
Especially now, it is important to identify such behaviour online to prevent problem gamblers from gambling online. This also increases compliance with Safer Gambling legislation and reduces fines and reputational damage.
The Rdentify technology can identify signs of self-exclusion and problem gambling in customer chats and email correspondence in real time. Utilising advanced technologies behind the scenes, we have made sure our product is easy to adopt and use as part of your day-to-day customer support routine.
New risk identification factors are continuously enhanced. This allows you to be confident that the features within Rdentify are always up-to-date, and hassle-free for your business to use.
Speaking about this importance, Daniel Brookes, the CEO of Rdentify, said: “Online gambling operators rely solely on customer support agents to recognise the signs of problem gambling during their live chat and email interactions. “Globally, the iGaming industry is highly regulated and fast-growing, with a strong focus on player protection. Since 2017 in the UK, remote operators have been fined more than £63.5m by the UK Gambling Commission for social responsibility failings.
“Rdentify provides a scalable natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning-based engine which flags end-user vulnerability risk during live chat interactions. Rdentify seamlessly integrates with the operators’ existing operational systems and outputs clear, actionable scores and risk categorisation in real-time. This solution de-risks the operator, protects end-users and allows for a superior customer experience.”
Daniel Brookes, CEO-Rdentify