Sky Betting and Gaming has revealed plans to lessen the amount of problem gambling its players have.
A Team Effort
Richard Flint, chief executive officer, expressed the serious need of operators coming together to help alleviate the issue of problem gambling. Flint thinks by building trust among regulators, politicians, and players, that the result will be a “sustainable industry.” Within the past year, various incidents have occurred within the gambling industry that may have caused mistrust in the industry. While Flint understands the change won’t happen overnight, he still believes, with the right strategies and approaches, a future that is sustainable can happen.
Flint also would like to regain the public’s confidence in the gambling sector’s purpose, which is to provide customers with a good time while also ensuring their protection.
Stopping Problem Gambling in its Tracks
According to Casinopedia.org, Flint believes there has been a concern about the problem gambling issue for a while, and no operators have tried to stop it. He says it’s time for “major online players in Great Britain, including Sky Betting” and Gaming, to become a “part of the solution” and not the problem. Flint says for this to happen, everyone “will need to work together and … support the work of regulators and government.” While he says technology has changed the online gambling industry, it has not been utilized to decrease problem gambling. According to Casinopedia.org, Flint also revealed detailed plans to help stop problem gambling and risky behaviors. There are four steps:
- Customer data will be monitored to understand the behavior of a player and look “for signs of harm.”
- Make improvements to “the accessibility, awareness, and understanding of self-help tools,” including limits to deposits and a cooling-off period, to promote safer gambling.
- Customer interaction, especially with those who may exhibit the warning signs, and discussion of his or her behavior.
- To prevent customers from harming themselves, there should be an increase in intentions.
While Flint realizes some players may not be in favor of the idea, he says it must be done to achieve a sustainable industry.
Redirecting Risky Behaviors
Flint ensures his customers are on the right track by keeping an open communication with them and making sure certain tools are utilized should they begin to display harmful behavior. He says they currently “use a combination of telephone calls, e-mails, SMS messaging, onsite and in-app communication.” He adds by using these various forms of communication, they can “highlight a customer’s behavior” and push him or her toward using the tools that will help him or her to gamble responsibly.
Flint also says the customer is “signposted” for both “treatment and support” and checked to see if “they are comfortable with their spending.” However, if needed, “in extreme cases, we suspend or terminate” a customer’s account.
In terms of intervention, Flint feels various approaches should be utilized by the gambling industry. “Research regarding what a successful intervention looks like is limited,” he said. “Guidance from the regulator is” limited. He added, “the industry should play a role in helping to test different messages and interventions to customers.” Flint is also in favor of the gambling industry working with a public advocate to help manage complaints on a regular basis while also creating a channel where players can hear about problems that are affecting them.
Flint added that although within the “fast-moving world of technology” those within the gambling industry won’t “always get everything right every time,” it’s still the “best way to minimize potential harm and protect customers.”