New betting shop scheme to text problem gambling warnings

New betting shop scheme to text problem gambling warnings

Wednesday, December 9, 2015 Totally Gaming
Malcolm George said the scheme was another example of the industry seeking to reduce problem gambling

The UK’s biggest betting shop operators are to introduce Player Awareness Systems (PAS) in a bid to monitor and reduce problem gambling on gambling machines.

The scheme, which has been launched by the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) with all of its members signing up to take part, will see the behaviour of players assessed while they are logged in to an account, with the possibility of cautionary alerts sent to those whose actions are deemed to be problem gambling.

The ABB said that PAS has been created in response to the Responsible Gambling Trust’s (RGT) December 2014 research that showed it was possible to distinguish between problem and non-problem gambling behaviour by players using gaming machines in licensed betting offices.

“This is an important and innovative step in our programme of activity to promote responsible gambling,” said Malcolm George, chief executive of the ABB. “This has included implementing the multi-operator self-exclusion scheme, introducing the second edition of the responsible gambling code of conduct, and implementing restrictions on stakes of over £50 on machines.

“PAS enables those using gaming machines to be more aware of how they are playing and encourage them to reflect on their behaviour and modify their play.”

PAS was developed during 2015 by an ABB-led working group that included representatives of gambling operators Coral, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, William Hill and machine manufacturers SG and Inspired, with the RGT and Gambling Commission as observers.

Customer behaviour is assessed against a range of markers of problem gambling, and alerts can be sent to players via text, email, or on-screen. These include signposting to responsible gambling tools such as setting limits on machines or self-exclusion, and directing customers towards the National Gambling Helpline.

ABB said that a variety of analytical algorithms are being used by member companies which will ultimately lead to “more effective processes for each operator as best practice and learnings are shared”, and added that the initiative will be independently evaluated in 2016.

Dirk Hansen, chief executive of GamCare, which runs the National Gambling Helpline, said: “We see daily the negative consequences resulting from problem gambling, and it’s encouraging to see the industry responding to tackle this head on.

“PAS is a powerful step in the right direction and we hope it can make a real difference to alerting customers to problem behaviours, and signposting them to the help that is available.”

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