The Remote Gambling Association publishes good practice guidelines for operators

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When developing or purchasing systems, the advice is designed to assist members in recognising problematic online gambling behaviour and interact with identified customers to address the behaviours that flag concern.

Online gambling operators collect and retain a great deal of data about their customers. The RGA believes it is incumbent upon its members, who are all licensed for gambling purposes in Europe, to use that information to combat crime and provide a safer gambling environment for their customers.

Whilst the focus of the new guidelines is primarily on the latter, it is acknowledged that the gambling patterns of problem gamblers and those gambling using the proceeds of crime can be similar.

The suggested standards of operation draw on the experience of RGA members and other stakeholders and take into account the latest research. The paper covers areas such as operator policies, markers of harm, customer interactions, recording and reporting, staff training and evaluation.

Clive Hawkswood, the RGA’s chief executive said: “It is important to recognise that data and behavioural analytics are not a silver bullet that will solve all of the problems associated with minimising gambling-related harm online. However, their effective use will increasingly prove vital when seeking to achieve that. The use of data in this way is still in its early days and whatever the industry does now will undoubtedly improve with the benefit of additional research and shared learning.

In the meantime we have a collective responsibility to use what we do know, and can do, to the best effect. Although many operators already have systems that go far beyond what is described in these guidelines, we hope they will provide a cross-industry benchmark and a sound starting point.