UK Gambling Commission Fines for Social Responsibility Failings
Did you know that 2020 saw a reported 175% increase in fines issued to international gambling operators compared to the year prior?
The £16million paid out by operators in 2019 increased to £44million in 2020, with regulatory authorities rightly clamping down on player safety.
With this increased focus on social responsibility in gambling, please read on to learn more about some recent cases and what Rdentify can to do help.
Safer gambling (also known as social responsibility) is all about protecting people from gambling-related harm. Three licensing objectives support the whole basis of gambling regulation: that crime should be kept out of gambling, it should be conducted in a fair and open way; and children and other vulnerable persons should be protected from harm or exploitation from gambling.
Most people who gamble do so safely most of the time. However, there is no denying that gambling can be harmful for some. Excessive play due to inexperience or binge gambling, periods of loss of control are just two examples of someone who has developed or is capable of developing a serious gambling addiction.
Proactively interacting early enough and in the right way, can help someone remain in control of their gambling and you will retain them as a customer, instead of them choosing to opt for a self-exclusion or closing their account entirely. Without question, this approach is more sustainable for your business in the long term.
With the issue of responsible gambling becoming increasingly important, particularly in the British media ahead of the review of the 2005 Gambling Act, the scrutiny on the gambling industry and their responsibilities has never been higher. There are approximately 430,000 problem gamblers in the UK and two million identified as being at risk, with the industry suffering huge reputational damage in recent years due to these figures.
“Since 2017 in the UK, remote operators have been fined more than £63.5m by the UK Gambling Commission for social responsibility failings,” Rdentify CEO Daniel Brookes said. “Operators rely solely on customer support agents to recognise the signs of problem gambling during their live chat interactions. Globally, the iGaming industry is highly regulated and fast-growing, with a strong focus on player protection.”
Recent UK Gambling Commission fines for social responsibility failings are:
As recently as March 2021, the Gambling Commission fined online operator Casumo £6million for failing to follow the relevant procedures in anti-money laundering checks and social responsibility.
The fine was issued in the light of a Casumo customer losing £1.1million over a three-year period without receiving any interaction to discuss responsible gambling in that time.
In addition, one Casumo player lost £65,000 in a month, with another customer losing £76,000 over seven months.
In a clear show of how destructive problem gambling can be, another Casumo player parted with £89,000 in just five hours, while another lost £59,000 in less than two hours.
Casumo received an official warning along with their fine, and must now pay for independent auditors to ensure that their practices are up to standards. The operator themselves claimed that the failings were located in the final three months of 2019, when they were in their “start-up phase”.
While this may well have been the case, the initial months of a new online gambling operator can be the most challenging in terms of keeping on top of regulations and code of practice.
That’s where Rdentify come in. Our software allows operators to identify problem gamblers with increased accuracy, putting the power in your hands in terms of protecting your players.
Developing Tools to Identify Risks
There is no denying that the fast-growing and strictly regulated iGaming market needs better tools to tackle problem-gambling, especially as lawmakers have increased their interest in player protection.
“Rdentify provides a scalable natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning-based engine which flags end-user vulnerability risk during live chat interactions.” Daniel added.
We use AI and cutting-edge technology to monitor live chats, giving each customer a score based on their risk of gambling-related harm. Our risk-based scoring system works in real-time and easily integrates with your company’s CRM using a simple traffic light system to denote the level of risk. Instances of concern will be highlighted to customer support staff, who can then deal with the situation in an effective manner in line with the operator’s safer gambling policies. This can be done either through the CRM or Rdentify’s own API.
Rdentify allows you to identify problem gamblers with increased accuracy and prevent them from gambling on your site, thus increasing compliance with Safer Gambling legislation and reducing fines and reputational damage.
The signs of problem gambling are often subtle and spread across multiple areas of the business. Players also often chat to different support agents over time, meaning vulnerable players and their common cues are often missed. The sheer number of live chats on a day-to-day basis also make it difficult for humans to monitor. The Rdentify solution can integrate and analyse all of this data, both historical and current. By integrating AI into your pre-existing systems, the chance of spotting the signs of problem gambling earlier are therefore significantly increased.
An operator’s risk data can also be visualised so in-depth trend analysis can be studied, while Rdentify never process or store any personal data. All such data is anonymised and only the player ID will be transferred through the engine. The system has been developed by consulting some of the iGaming industry’s best data science, compliance and operations experts, meaning it is tailor-made for gambling operators.
If you are keen to find out more and would like to chat to our experts, please do get in touch.
You can also book your FREE demo today.