In a continually shifting landscape, gambling firms will need to overcome several barriers if they want to ensure their commercial success.
At a time when customers are adjusting to life after restrictions, operators will need to remain vigilant. Consumers have been impacted in different ways by the circumstances brought on by the pandemic, as well as the broader economic environment.
Many people will still feel vulnerable as a result of the length of the pandemic period, face further uncertainty about their personal or financial circumstances, or will be readjusting budgets as life returns to normal with a wider set of financial drivers.
Gambling operators will need to keep this in mind as they set their agenda for the rest of 2022 and beyond. As consumers spend more time online, firms will need to readjust as gambling behaviour slowly returns to pre-lockdown levels.
The Gambling Commission has published further data showing how gambling behaviour is reacting to the easing of lockdown measures and current environmental factors in the UK.
This operator data reflects the period between March 2020 and March 2022, and covers online and in-person gambling with data from Licensed Betting Operators (LBOs).
It has found that:
- Online total Gross Gambling Yield in Q4 (January to March) was £1.2bn, a decrease of 1% from Q3 (October to December). The overall number of total bets/spins decreased 2% from Q3 to Q4, the average monthly active accounts increased 5%
- Slots GGY decreased 5% to nearly £541m between Q3 and Q4. The number of spins decreased 2% to 17.9bn, while the average monthly active accounts increased 5% to 3m per month
- The number of online slots sessions lasting longer than an hour decreased by 2% (to 7.9m) between Q3 and Q4. The average session length lasted 18 minutes, with approximately 7% of all sessions lasting more than one hour.
Shaping the future
These findings demonstrate two key behaviours. While the volume of bets is falling, players are continuing to expand their range of portfolios online.
As the country moves into a new phase after restrictions, the Gambling Commission is advising firms to take a cautious approach. Operators are still expected to follow the strengthened guidance set out during the first lockdown, while taking a close interest in the data of customers expanding their accounts or spending more time and money than before.
If gambling operators want to avoid reputation damage, they should be taking care when onboarding new customers and making the appropriate affordability checks. This means that when triggers are hit, firms should be interacting directly with vulnerable customers to ensure their safety.
But not all operators are adhering to these guidelines. Some firms have been taking advantage of the current situation to exploit vulnerable customers- particularly when cross-selling their products.
Earlier this year, Goldchip Limited was issued a suspension of its license after concerns license were raised about the company’s conduct. Goldchip Limited was found to have carried out activities that are contrary to the Gambling Act 2005, including suspected social responsibility and anti-money laundering failings.
As the Gambling Commission continues to clamp down on operators who are taking advantage of customer vulnerability, businesses will need to take a closer look at their best practices and behaviours if they want to achieve longevity.
At a time when consumers are more vulnerable than ever, it’s simply no longer viable for firms to turn their focus away from customer wellbeing. If operators want to continue their success and improve their reputations, they need to strengthen their tools and data monitoring to ensure players are protected from harm.
This is something we take seriously here at Rdentify. After spending years utilising NLP technology, we’ve created sophisticated software that allows businesses to identify, monitor and protect customers- helping you support players and prioritise their welfare.
Maximising your potential
Using innovative machine learning, Rdentify has the power to drive your commercial success.
Our state-of-the-art platform uses innovative machine learning and linguistics research to detect behavioural patterns associated with vulnerable consumers in real time. This helps your gambling firm improve internal processes and demonstrate your commitment to customer wellbeing.
Through an easy 1 to 5 risk-based scoring system, we alert problem gambling risks to front line staff quickly and effectively. Customer service managers can then audit team live chats and emails to ensure that they are properly interactive with high-risk customers. Meanwhile, compliance teams can evaluate responsible gaming performance to ensure regulatory requirements are met appropriately.
When you partner with us, we work alongside your firm to protect vulnerable customers and business assets, and encourage the gambling industry to operate as a safe, successful entertainment outlet for all.