Kindred Group: Why Responsible Gambling is a key part of sustainable business

Alexander Westrell – Kindred Group

One of the key aims of the week was to ensure that consumers are aware of the tools that are available to keep gambling safe, initiatives like the ‘Gambling Therapy app‘, that Scandinavian operator Kindred recently revealed that it was going to fund.

Alexander Westrell, Head of Communications for Kindred, told SBC: “Responsible gambling is a key part of our sustainable business approach and has been from the very beginning 20 years ago. Over the years, we have developed tools such as PS-EDS (Player Safety Early Detection System) to ensure we can help our customers as early as possible.”

Westrell added: “This is a  risk based data driven preventive tool as once a customer shows any signs of problem gambling, the customer is contacted by our Responsible Gambling department and is helped to stay in control of his/her behaviour to regulate his/her gambling. It is important that this self-regulation is done based upon the customers informed choice and buy-in to the solution.”

“We also offer other tools, initiated by our dedicated staff, that help our customers change their gambling behaviour at an early stage and thereby avoid potential problem and minimise self-harm, such as product blocking and additional self-exclusion periods.

“As technology improves so does our ability to detect problematic gambling behaviours and help customers maintain a sound and health gambling experience. Developing our current tools and adding new ones is a constant process within Kindred. Supporting other organisations in their work is equally important and the Gambling Therapy App is one such initiative. Giving gambling customers clear, concise and easily accessible information about gambling behaviour is crucial in preventing problem gambling from occurring.”

Kindred also recently co-hosted the Responsible Gaming Conference in Malta, an event that welcomed over 270 delegates to discuss how the industry can improve methods of safeguarding players at risk of becoming problem gamblers.

Westrell commented: “One of the key takeaways from the Responsible Gambling Conference in Malta was that collaboration is one of the most important factors to prevent problem gambling. Digital operators have access to great amounts of data which we can use to learn more about gambling behaviours.

He went onto highlight positive impact that access to data can have, with regards to research about responsible gambling measures. Westrell underlined a speech given by Professor Mark Griffiths during the conference in Malta, where Griffiths stated that having access to operator data has added ‘significant value’ to his recent research compared to his previous research, adding that this is one of they key reasons why Kindred supports Professor Griffiths by granting him access to anonymized customer data.

However, Westrell went onto state: “It is not only collaboration between operators and researchers that is important, having discussions between academia, regulators, operators, industry associations and treatment centres is critical, which the RG Conference also proved and Kindred will continue to push for more collaboration. By the same token, and acknowledging that we as regulated operators have a responsibility towards society, also all other stakeholders have an active role to play, including regulators and customers themselves.”

Looking ahead to the future, Westrell continued by emphasising how for Kindred responsible gambling “is critical to business sustainability and our own success. He said: “We have held trust and responsible gambling at the very heart of our business from the beginning 20 years ago and continue to see each individual customer instead of a collective group. By ensuring that each customer has a safe, healthy and great gambling experience, we can retain them as customers over a long period of time. This is how we view a sustainable business.”

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