Gambling Commission CEO “encouraged” by player protection progress; “concerned” by VIP statuses

By Tim Poole

Gambling Commission CEO Neil McArthur has praised the gaming industry’s efforts to enhance player protection in Great Britain.

As part of the regulator’s Raising Standards Conference, McArthur encouraged further collaboration between operators and the Commission, while also addressing areas such as advertising and game design.

Most notably however, the CEO praised operators’ use of machine learning to protect players, as well as the effectiveness of their self-evaluations.

McArthur said in a speech: "There has been an encouraging increase in the number of operators investing in and developing algorithms and machine learning to identify customers who may be experiencing harm.

"We have also seen increasing numbers of operators evaluating the effectiveness of their identification tools and customer interaction processes."

On the other hand, the Gambling Commission CEO did highlight two particular areas of concern: the ‘When the Fun Stops, Stop’ campaign and VIP statuses.

Regarding the former, McArthur urged firms to discontinue their pursuit of the campaign as "independent research indicated it has no effect on gambling behaviour."

On VIP statuses, he said: "We remain concerned around the offer of VIP status and associated incentives and bonuses.

"If the industry cannot or will not drive improvements in this area, we will need to explore the use of all our tools to encourage or mandate changes in the interests of consumer protection."

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