UK Responsible Gambling Alliance Publishes ‘Good Practice’ Guidelines Luke Haward, CDC Gaming Reports · March 1, 2018 at 12:34 pm The Responsible Gambling Association (RGA) is a trade body for the online gambling industry in Europe, and they’ve just put out a set of guidelines for responsible practice. These guidelines are not simply arbitrary dictates, or common-sense advice, but are drawn from hard studies and based on behavioural analytics. They cover several key areas, including what policies to set as operators, how to train staff to identify and evaluate problem gamblers, what markers to look out for to identify potential harmful gambling activity, and how best to record-keep and report issues discovered. One thing emphasised in these guidelines was that operators have a vast amount of data available on players, and that they are not always putting these data to best effect in terms of helping prevent problem gambling. Long term, of course, helping to prevent such issues is not only good for those problem players, but for the entire industry, as it helps rebuild a sense of trust and responsibility, a sense which, at least here in the UK (and likely in other nations), has largely been lost. Here is an excerpt from the RGA’s guidelines issued this week: ““Safeguarding customers and combating problem gambling present many challenges not just for the gambling industry but for all stakeholders. They require a range of responses. For the online gambling industry in particular, because of the account-based nature of the gambling that takes place and the data that provides, the proportionate and effective use of behavioural analytics presents a major opportunity to improve the way the sector meets these challenges.” Seemingly timed to coincide with this release, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has also published “customer interaction” guidance for remote gambling operators here in the UK. Amongst these guidelines are a number of key questions for operators to mull over, including “How do you know you are delivering the positive outcomes for your customers?”, “How could you share your best practice with the industry?”, and “Do you know if the customer received and acted on the information you gave?” The UKGC counsels operators that they are expected to use a range of indicators in assessing risk, not only financial ones. They should have a range of means of recognising “unusual” behaviour and should “invest in systems and staff to manage your process”. They admonish operators to “train your staff… and be supported and able to act… this includes your VIP teams.” They also state strongly that operators must not “let commercial considerations override customer protection.” It is sad but very true that the industry in the UK, and very likely across much of Europe, is in serious need of such guidelines.