Entain Launches New Player Protection Initiative in the UK

Entain has launched a new technology-based initiative that will help it to better identify at-risk gamblers and implement betting limits across its UK brands. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

An innovative system

Entain Plc announced that it has launched a technology-focused initiative to help identify players at risk of possible gambling problems.

Certain aspects of the Advanced Responsibility and Care (ARC) initiative are now part of Entain’s 14 UK gambling brands, including Ladbrokes, Coral, and partypoker. The full ARC is set to come into place during summer 2021, with Entain customizing it for other countries and cultures later in the year.

personalized and technology-focused approach to protecting players

Once this new system identifies an at-risk customer, appropriate staking limits will come into place, as well as stricter affordability checks. Entain believes that it is the first major gaming and betting operator in the UK to launch this sort of personalized and technology-focused approach to protecting players.

Components of the new protective measures

The new ARC affordability framework utilizes customer data that is commercially available and open-source in combination with behavioral indicators. Entain’s data scientists built models relating to different types of at-risk customers. It even enlisted the help of Harvard University when creating the necessary artificial intelligence.

introducing variable stake limits that are dependent on a customer’s risk level

Entain will still develop ARC as time goes on, with certain behavioral indicators and models still a work in progress. This includes introducing variable stake limits that are dependent on a customer’s risk level.

Entain group operations director Peter Marcus is in charge of the ARC initiative, something which the company has been working on for about 18 months. Speaking about the new system, he said that it “aims to identify relevant limits at the right time to protect customers whom our technology has identified as being vulnerable, or particularly at risk.”

Marcus underlined that these limits would only come into place for at-risk players and would not impact the vast majority of people.  

Entain chief executive Jette Nygaard-Andersen echoed these remarks, stating that a more personalized approach is the way forward to quickly protect vulnerable customers. The company is open to the idea of working with the UK Gambling Commission or other operators to share this new technology. Entain also estimates that its responsible gambling measures will lead to EBITDA being £40m ($55.15m) lower in 2021.

Gambling reform on the way

The rollout of this new initiative by Entain comes at a time when the UK government is conducting a review of the country’s gambling legislation. The idea behind the review is to bring the Gambling Act’s rules and regulations into the modern age, with some significant changes expected.

One of the goals of the review is to protect at-risk players as much as possible while not negatively impacting the enjoyment levels of the majority of players. The government’s 16-week call for evidence on the UK’s gambling laws came to a close on Wednesday, with legislative reform now on the agenda. Some of the potential changes include curtailments on sports betting advertising and a possible £2 ($2.76) stake limit for online slot spins.

Tighter affordability checks

The British racing industry has concerns about tighter affordability checks as the sport relies heavily on betting revenue to survive. Entain believes that its new ARC initiative will “greatly benefit” the racing industry and ease its concerns about blanket measures. The UKGC held its own public consultation on the topic of affordability checks and it is still going through the 13,000 responses.

Other operators are also looking at implementing more stringent responsible gambling measures. Flutter Entertainment is testing out a requirement for its 18-to-21-year-old customers to set deposit limits, while also setting a max stake of £10 ($13.79) for its UK-facing slots.

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