By Yvonne Greenwood | Expected reading time 4 min
According to a recent documentary broadcast on the BBC, gambling companies such as SkyBet are able to track the behaviours of their customers. Gambling companies know which players are high value customers, whether or not they chase losses and the percentage of emails they open.
The BBC expose indicated that gambling companies use this data to target customers in different ways. High value customers will be encouraged as often as possible to gamble more and if they regularly open their emails, this will be the main mode of persuasion in which the gambling site will look to keep the customer playing.
SkyBet use multiple data harvesting companies to send data to. A company called Signal profiles customer behaviour for marketing; Lovation, which tracks which device a customer uses and TransUnion, a credit reference company which owns both Signal and Lovation. SkyBet say that all the data collected is used for fraud prevention.
‘PROTECTING THE VULNERABLE’
TransUnion has stated that they offer their services to gambling companies in order to ‘protect the vulnerable from exploitation’ as well as to prevent fraud and check affordability.
All gambling companies must ensure that all their customers have provided sufficient ID to confirm they are who they say they are. In addition, background checks are made on all customers and online casinos must ensure that their customers always gamble responsibly. Unfortunately, history shows that some online casinos are better than others at ensuring player safety.
CASUMO FINED BY THE UKGC
Earlier this month, the UK Gambling Commission fined Casumo casino £6 million for failing to protect vulnerable customers on numerous occasions and over a prolonged period of time.
Social responsibility failures included the following:
- One customer losing over £1million over three years without once being subject to an interaction from the casino regarding responsible gambling. Online casinos are now suppose to interact with their players on an hourly basis to ensure they are practicing safe gambling.
- A second customer losing £65,000 in one month without once being subject to an interaction from the casino regarding responsible gambling.
- A third customer losing £76,000 over a period of seven months without once being subject to an interaction from the casino regarding responsible gambling.
Casumo also failed other customer interaction procedures which resulted in one player losing £59,000 over a 90 minute period and another customer losing £89,000 over a five hour period.
The same casino also accounted for numerous anti-money laundering failures. Along with the £6million fine, Casumo must also instruct a firm of independent auditors to carry out checks and examine transactions which have taken place post July 2020.
UK GAMBLING REGULATION CHANGES
The UK government are expected to announce widespread changes to the 2005 Gambling Act this year. A Call to Action was announced in 2020 with the results expected in April 2021. The UK government has admitted that the Gambling Act needs updating ‘for the modern age’.
The UKGC also announced earlier this year that further regulation would be placed on online slot machines, including the removal of autoplay features.
Online gambling operators will also be forced to clearly display the total wins or losses and the time played during any session.
It is expected that any changes to the Gambling Act will primarily concentrate on gambling advertisements on television screens and gambling advertisements within professional sports events.
However, online casinos are wary that limits on the amount a customer can bet on a slot machines may be enforced. Currently, customers can bet up to £500 on certain online slots.