Roundtable: Raising Standards of Responsible Gambling

The Future of Casino Gambling: Focusing on the Customer Experience

Last month, the Comis Mount Murray hotel in Isle of Man played host to the KPMG eGaming Summit. The focus of this year’s event was ‘Raising Standards Together‘. A throng of attendants turned out for the day-long conference, coming from gaming regulatory authorities, national health organizations, and—of course—land-based and online gambling companies.

The Future of Casino Gambling: Focusing on the Customer Experience

The Isle of Man eGaming Summit was a huge success, but it’s what happened the next morning that’s making the most waves across the industry.

Roundtable Breakfast to Discuss Future of Casino Gambling

Some of the highest ranking attendees of the summit met the next morning at the Comis Hotel for a special breakfast roundtable meeting. They included people like:

Nathan Beaver – Enterprise Customer & Growth Director, KMPG

Lawrence Hanlin – Director of Regulatory Assurance, GVC Group

Chris Rogers – Senior Manager (Insight), UK Gambling Commission

Anna Hemmings – Chief Executive Officer, GamCare

Dan Waugh – Director, Regulus Partners

John Hagan – Attorney specializing in Gambling Law, Harris Hagan

These and others gathered that next morning to see exactly what they’d taken away from the eGaming Summit, and discuss ways they can immediately begin raising the standards of responsible gaming.

Mr. Hanlin of GVC was a major contributor to the conversation, taking the lead by pointing out numerous faults in the live and online gambling sector, and ways he believes they can work together to resolve them.

Raising Standards of Responsible Gambling

One of the key factors for Hanlin is the training of employees. Identify a problem gambling situation after it’s occurred is not good enough. At-risk behavior should be identified as it’s happening, giving ample time for intervention before it’s too late—before a gambler’s finances are in shambles—before a family is torn apart.

Ms. Hemmings agreed wholeheartedly on that point. Her concept was not just to train customer support reps to recognize a person in distress, but to hire additional representatives that specialize in communicating with people who suffer from gambling disorders.

Mr. Hanlin confirmed her assessment, agreeing that there are “triggers that you can see through the analytics and via conversations.

“We now sample regularly the calls with customers for quality and interactions and I personally have listened to some of them,” he said. “In some cases you could hear that someone was potentially in distress and you could tell that from the tone and content of the call.”

The GVC Director believes that traditional customer service teams are well equipped to handle day-to-day matters, but that live and online gambling companies need to hire people already skilled in intervention methodologies; specifically the ability to communicate with and help customers that display at-risk behavior.

Renewing the Focus on the Customer Experience

Another major topic was the need to raise standards when it comes to the customer experience. For many companies, the customers and their needs have been forgotten. The focus is on gambling. It’s on profit margins. That needs to change.

As Mr. Waugh explained it, the public’s perception of the industry is that “we are not doing anything particularly productive here; that we have been sucking as much money out of people as quickly as possible.”

Mr. Waugh said it’s time to change the industry’s reputation by showing customers that they are their most valuable asset, and treating them accordingly. Instead of, “How much money can we make as quickly as possible,” the question should be, “What is the consumer need here and how do we excite and give consumers valuable experiences?”

Mr. Hanlin hopes that leading by example will bring about a domino effect, convincing others to make these necessary changes for the global good of the industry and its clientele. “If we can do that and lead by example then hopefully other companies will probably try and do the same.”

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