IAGR – International Association of Gaming Regulators Conference

Helping UK Casino Players Gamble Responsibly: Evaluating the impact of Safer Gambling Customer Interactions


Sparking innovation in regulatory practice

Boston Marriott Copley Place

110 Huntington Ave, Boston

Abstract: The UK Gambling Commission required all gambling operators from 31 October 2019 to ‘identify’ high-risk customers, ‘interact’ with these customers, and then ‘evaluate’ the impact of the customer interactions in reducing and preventing risk and harm. As part of a 5 year international research project involving nine operators from three different countries and co-funded by the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), the UK National Casino Forum (NCF) and five of its member casinos took part in a live trial of Focal’s ALeRT™ Bettor Protection System using player data to identify and manage player risk. From November 2018 to October 2019, casino staff at 16 test venues conducted over 3,000 customer reviews, recording 1,550 personal interactions with ≈800 unique ‘gamblers of interest’ (GOIs) identified by the ALeRT risk detection algorithms. Focal used player data stored in the ALeRT system to set reliable pre-post play behaviour indicators to evaluate the impact of staff interactions. Findings were presented to the Gambling Commission October 24, 2019 and a final report released December 20, 2019. Trial results showed, when compared to baseline, staff interactions with high-risk customers identified by the ALeRT system produced positive changes in behaviour that were persisting up to six months following the first interaction including reductions in turnover, frequency of play , session length and speed of play. The trial results demonstrate that by better assisting and supporting staff to identify potential problematic gambling behaviour, interactions between host responsibility staff and players can achieve improved player outcomes, and operators can better provide safer more supportive gambling environments for players and staff. The presentation will summarize key learnings coming out of the trial.