It’s noticeable how the gambling industry has shifted its focus to making gambling safer in recent years.
From self-exclusion schemes in the likes of the UK, Sweden, Netherlands and the US to name just a few, to gambling blocking software such as Gamban, there are many tools designed to help players control their gambling.
However, a big topic of contention is how can operators use all these tools and technology efficiently to make sure customers understand how to control their gambling if it gets out of hand, and how they can be notified if they don’t realise their problems.
That was the main matter dealt with at the practical safer gambling solutions panel at the SBC Barcelona Summit in September.
One of the points discussed was technology and whether the industry relies too much on it. Casino Guru Complaints Team Lead Petronela Kontos, spoke about her experience in dealing with customer complaints at the world’s largest casino database and customer forum.
Kontos said: "There could be a time where we rely too heavily on technology for safer gambling because the more tools you have, the more options you have which could make it more confusing for the players."
"Technology absolutely helps with identifying the problem. It’s really important for the operators to identify the problem before the player actually can as it’s a social taboo to come out and say that ‘I’m a gambler’ or that ‘I have problems with my gambling.’
"Technology helps but the social interaction between the operators and the players is more important."
Kontos also mentioned that in order to stop confusing players by overloading them with gambling prevention tools, the simpler it is for them, the better and that real human communication from operator’s is important.
She added: "I can see from the complaints that we receive in our complaints resolution centre, that it is so confusing for the players to know which tools are there to help and sometimes when we try to help the players, we too get confused."
"The simpler solutions the better. I would say a panic button is the most powerful tool out there because you don’t have to contact or live chat with customer service or write any emails, you feel at that point if something is happening and you don’t feel comfortable and want to stop gambling, you just hit the button and that’s the end of the interaction."
"I believe this is the most powerful tool at this point but unfortunately it’s not available in all casinos and not all casinos out there offer the proper tools, which could include deposit limits, loss limits, wager limits but it’s sometimes so confusing for the players."
"For example some of them don’t know the difference between self-exclusion, blocking the account, cooling off period and so on. We need to educate players; 99% of the self-exclusion complaints we get is because the player is so confused with how to self-exclude which leads us to contacting the casinos and explain to the players what they should do and how they can identify the problem if they want to cool off or self-exclude permanently. But it needs to be communicated very well because even the players sometimes don’t know what they want to do."
"We know how gambling works and the entire system but sometimes the simpler the better."
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