Responsible gaming operators are continually looking for effective ways to meet their obligations. Whether that’s reducing the risk of customers developing problem gambling behaviours such as gambling addiction, or preventing issues such as money laundering and gaming bonus abuse: there are significant challenges facing the gambling sector.
Running a profitable gaming operation is a delicate balancing act. Clearly it’s a priority to maintain and increase player numbers in order to increase revenue and grow your business; at the same time you must continually ensure that play is responsible and that the risk of fraud, money laundering or problem gambling is mitigated.
But problems are on the increase. The most recent Gambling Commission report (2022/2023) showed that compliance and enforcement activity is proceeding at a pace. Gambling operators deemed to have failed to protect their customers faced over £60M of fines during the reporting period – double the figure reported in the previous year. High profile cases included William Hill Group (which was fined over £19M) and Entain Group (£17M), both penalised for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures. Clearly the repercussions for intentional or unintentional non-compliance are significant.
The good news is that there are a variety of ways in which technology and software can help mitigate the various risks and causes of problem gambling and overcome issues as they arise. Ensuring that up-to-date tools are in place can make a positive difference to your business by more accurately and consistently preventing bonus abuse fraud, detecting problem behaviours, and improving the customer experience. It also makes it much easier to meet your legal obligations and to demonstrate an audit trail of what has been done (should you need to do so).
Let’s look at some of the most useful options in more detail.
For gambling operators who engage with large numbers of players – and who are actively seeking to expand their customer base – introducing automation as part of your risk management strategy makes complete sense. Building in payment acceptance strategies and workflows tailored to specific customer groups, segments, and geographies creates a far more efficient and streamlined operation, no matter how big your customer base or your expansion plans. Clever technology and algorithms can identify and manage known risk factors across an extensive customer landscape in the blink of an eye. Even the most complex scenarios can benefit from automated controls, giving your business a real time ‘safety net’ that picks up on issues before they take hold.
Although it’s crucial to have robust processes in place to prevent problem gambling, it’s just as important to ensure a positive experience for new and existing customers who are playing responsibly. The payment stage is a key area where the process needs to be seamless and stress-free – not least because you want customers to enjoy their interaction and to come back again.
That’s why the systems that process payments behind the scenes need to be robust enough to cope with hundreds or thousands of data points at a time, including background checks, data crunching, transactions and top-ups. Bear in mind too that your customers expect their chosen gaming operator to be able to match the speed and ease of making payments that they’re used to seeing from online companies across a host of other sectors. Keeping your payment engine up-to-date and in line with customer expectations is a sensible way to protect your business and your brand, and to ensure that the necessary compliance processes you must also adhere to don’t become a barrier.
Understandably you want to accept new customers and make it easy for them to play. Part of that process means having robust identify checking and age verification processes in place so that you can also meet your legal requirements as a gaming operator and prevent problem gamblers or underage players from participating.
The most effective way to do this is using modern payments software that enables you to combine your own data with powerful third party data to deliver enhanced player authentication. By utilising all of the available data efficiently, it’s possible to reduce your ‘decline’ numbers by removing the false positives that can often arise when a full picture isn’t available.
One of the often unsung benefits of updating your operational systems is that in doing so, you open up numerous opportunities to put enhanced controls in place and reap the rewards of deeper insight across your data pool. In practice, that could include making it easier to spot problem gamblers and responding more quickly; revealing potential cases of bonus abuse earlier; using algorithms that can spot potential gambling addiction behaviours; or putting in place deposit limits that work best for both your business and for your players.
Technology can make a big difference to business performance; payment processing software that is specifically designed to meet the needs of online gaming businesses can significantly simplify your business's compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. With functionality in place to proactively detect and prevent fraudulent activity, you can not only reduce the risk of problem gambling, your business will also be better equipped to deliver a seamless and engaging customer experience.
If you’re looking for expert guidance on updating your online gambling payment processing software, our team can provide the support your business needs to make the switch to Access Paysuite – and your business can take a firmer stance against problem gambling.