Gamble Aware report suggests new methods to identify and protect problem gamblers

A new report has found that online gambling companies can better utilise the data they hold on customers to help spot users at risk of problem gambling ‘in-the-moment’. The report was commissioned by Gamble Aware and conducted by PwC.

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Gamble Aware is an independent charity located in the UK aimed at helping people make informed decisions about their gambling. © Gamble Aware

The report used data collected from over 10,000 customers who had given consent for their data to be used from four different UK operators. The next stage of Gamble Aware’s research project will examine how gambling companies can best approach, intervene, and interact with customers they deem at risk, to offer them the most effective advice and protection.

The key findings of the report were five indicators that are typical of problem gambling when exhibited together. By utilising the data operators have on their users, they can look out for these indicators and act immediately to intervene and protect at risk users. The indicators are:

  • Average number of bets placed per day – problem gamblers bet more frequently, between 5-90 times per day.
  • Higher value of bets placed – non-problem gamblers bet £14 on days when they bet, whereas problem gamblers bet £98 per day on average
  • Time of the day and week when bets are placed – problem gamblers often gambled throughout the week and were much more likely to bet between midnight and 4.00am. Non-problem gamblers typically made most of their bets on Saturdays.
  • Deposits – problem gamblers made more deposits. Failed deposits were also an indicator of risk.
  • Volatility – high variation in the amounts won and lost, along with extremely high losses, correlate strongly with problem gambling

Commenting on the findings of the report, Clive Hawkswood, Chief Executive of the Remote Gambling Association, said:

The remote gambling industry is committed to making sure there are suitable safeguards in place for all online gamblers and particularly those at most risk. The cooperation of our members made this research possible and its findings will provide a benchmark for current and future analytics systems to be measured against. It demonstrates that we can spot those most at risk, based on the data we already have available to us and the challenge now is to disseminate best practice and have it implemented.Clive Hawkswood, Remote Gambling Association Chief Executive

Pressure increasing on the remote gambling industry

There has been increasing pressure on gambling operators to improve the protection and services they offer to problem gamblers and those at risk of developing a gambling problem. Last month, research from the UK Gambling Commission found that the UK has over 2 million people addicted to online gambling.

The findings of the report are timely then, as betting companies will surely be examining ways to implement safeguards to prevent gambling problems developing. The report raises hope that by segmenting users and looking out for these indicators, operators can accurately and swiftly identify at risk users and prevent gambling problems exacerbating.

Remote gambling accounts for almost 40% of the UK gambling industry, which is worth around £15bn a year.

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