This October, Kindred Group held its fifth annual Sustainable Gambling Conference. Branded as #SGConline, the conference was hosted entirely on a digital platform due to this year’s circumstances. Following on from its 2019 topic of Building Relevance, this year’s theme was ‘Collaborate to Innovate’, which focused on how the online gambling industry can take advantage of technological advancements to build a more sustainable industry.
The best thing about hosting an online conference is the absence of a limit on the number of attendees. SGC 2020 broke all records with 690 registered attendees, 12 breakout sessions, 2 panel discussions, 3 keynote speakers, online polls/audience interactions and many insightful questions.
Kindred Group is committed to offering our customers a safe and fair gambling environment. The Sustainable Gambling Conference is a key element of Kindred’s sustainability work, as we believe that cooperation across the industry is crucial for a sustainable industry to prevent problem gambling. No single operator, supplier, regulator, treatment centre, researcher or another expert can tackle these challenges alone. We have to learn from each other and collaborate to find solutions to the challenges we face.
We must engage in dialogues with partners and stakeholders from different areas of society. We must collaborate to find innovative solutions, which would help detect and prevent problem gambling. We must find new, smarter and more efficient control tools to help those who need support. That is the purpose of Kindred’s Sustainable Gambling Conference.
The conference was divided into two parts: the first part of the day consisted of panel discussions and keynote speakers, while the second part was divided into twelve breakout sessions.
Panel 1’s theme was AI for Good – how can the industry take advantage of future tech to ensure sustainable consumption? During the panel Göran Lindsjö, a global expert and advisor on AI shared his view on how AI can be used as a tool for a more sustainable gambling industry. The key takeaway from the panel discussion was that AI can be used to intervene in problem gambling, but nothing beats human interaction.
Chris Eade from Zafty Intelligence took the virtual stage in the morning, explaining how AI can be used to maintain control of gambling and showcased Zafty’s new app. Financially supported by Kindred Group, the app uses AI to try and understand patterns of problem gambling behaviour, and in turn, will help the operators mitigate potentially problematic situations.
Players will have several optional tools, such as a timer, daily-limit setting, etc., that will help them stay in control. The players will also be able to see their behaviour bench-marked against other users – giving them a better insight into their behaviour by giving them a comparison. This way, they will be able to see how their pattern of behaviour compares to others so that they can hopefully make appropriate decisions.
When downloading the app, players will have the opportunity to provide a reason for download, which will then be used if any problematic gambling behaviour is detected, e.g. “you have promised your partner to gamble less.”
In the second panel, regulators from France, Malta and Sweden shared their perspectives and challenges from a regulators' point of view. They were unanimous in the potential they see in data usage and AI. However, they also pointed out that they currently do not have the right expertise, or the authority to maximise data and AI’s capabilities for problem gambling prevention. Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, President at L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), France, stated that the operators with a license should have an advantage - operators playing by the rules should not be punished.
All participants agreed that the way forward is for operators to educate their players about responsible gambling. Operators already use AI to quite a large extent, but this needs to be more disclosed than it is today, and insights should also be shared within the industry. The collaboration between industry’s stakeholder should continue and everyone should pull towards the same goal to get the best effect.
Kindred Group will continuously work towards enabling a safer and more secure environment for our customers. Sustainability is at the core of our DNA. We will keep striving to be more transparent and open about how we operate. We will keep supporting new research, technology, sponsorships and any other initiatives with the purpose of building a long-term sustainable gambling industry.
If you missed out on this year´s Sustainable Gambling Conference you will find the whole day here.
Hope to see you at the next Sustainable Gambling Conference in 2021.