RGT brings in PwC to support gambling-related harm initiative

RGT brings in PwC to support gambling-related harm initiative

Monday, April 18, 2016 Totally Gaming
RGT brings in PwC to support gambling-related harm initiative

The Responsible Gambling Trust (RGT) has installed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to independently evaluate its new betting industry initiative designed to help people avoid gambling-related harm when using gaming machines.

Developed in response to previous RGT research that suggested it is possible to distinguish between problem and non-problem behaviour, ‘Player Awareness Systems’ (PAS) have been deployed by operators across the UK to provide alerts and appropriate interventions for customers showing signs of problem play.

Following a tender process launched earlier this year by the RGT independent Research Committee, PwC will now assist the organisation with the roll out and monitoring of the initiative.

Services will include PwC understanding systems and controls designed in order to implement PAS; have full access to machine data and the algorithms used to identify problematic behaviour to understand whether the systems have been implemented as described; observe the PAS controls operated within Licensed Betting Offices to aid in understanding their operation; share their observations, findings and best practice; as well as submit reports to the RGT for academic peer review this summer, prior to publication.

Mark Jordan, lead partner for PwC, said that helping the community is part of the firm’s “core values” and was keen to support the “critical” work being done by the RGT.

“We are proud of the work that we do both voluntarily and professionally with charities, social enterprises and the social investment sector around the country,” Jordan said. “To ensure the future success of the PAS initiative, it is critical to have an understanding of the different approaches designed and implemented at this early stage.”

Marc Etches, chief executive of the RGT, added: “When the RGT published independent research into machine gambling in December 2014, we hoped to see a positive and a coherent policy response from the gambling industry. We look forward to analysing the insights from PwC’s evaluation and encouraging the lessons it highlights to be applied across the industry.”

Malcolm George, chief executive of the Association of British Bookmakers, is also supportive of the scheme, stating that the PAS marks a “significant step forward” in the fight against gambling-related harm.

George added: “PAS marks a significant step forward in the continued development of the harm minimisation measures available in betting shops by allowing for earlier interactions with customers who may be at risk, before they are displaying overt signs of harm. This evaluation will help ensure that we are able to build on this progress on the basis of evidence and continue to improve the existing PAS systems on machines.

“We hope that the lessons learnt from this initiative can eventually be transferred into other areas of player protection within shops and this evaluation is an important first step.”

TotallyGaming.com says: "The ongoing support of a major name such as PwC will be a massive boost for the RGT as it continues its campaign against gambling-related harm. The partnership will also enable the RGT to collect even more data to support its effort in the ling-term." 

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