Kindred's Journey to Zero: An Interview With Maris Catania

Tue, 25 Oct, 2022

In 2021, Kindred Group became the first gambling operator to report its share of revenue derived from high-risk players who show signs of harmful gambling. One of the reasons we are doing this is to measure our progress and benchmark against our ambition to reach zero per cent revenue from harmful gambling and pave the way for the wider industry to follow. 

Our aim is to increase transparency and facilitate a fact-based debate. Openly reporting our data is aligned with Kindred's purpose "To transform gambling by being a trusted source of entertainment that contributes positively to society."

The figures are updated quarterly and published on our website, together with a measurement of the effectiveness of Kindred's sustainability work. To get more insight and knowledge of the numbers reported, we spoke to our Head of Responsible Gaming and Research, Maris Catania.

Why is Kindred reporting on your revenue from harmful gambling? What do you want to achieve?

The idea behind reporting the revenue from harmful gambling is to increase transparency and engage other operators and stakeholders to discuss such an important topic. In addition, by managing to identify the revenue from harmful gambling, one can also monitor and assess whether such interventions and measures are contributing to better revenue.

Kindred started reporting this data in 2021. Is it mandatory for all operators? 

This is not mandatory, but it is something that we have decided to launch publicly. We have taken approaches that academia has done, where most academics have used self-exclusion as a proxy measure for problem gambling. Although we have also seen that this is not always ideal as a proxy measure, we have also started reporting the revenue from customers who disclose that they have a gambling disorder or score highly on markers of harm.

We can see a slight increase in the numbers from Q2. From 3.3 % to 3.78%. Why is that? 

It is not what we have wished for, but since we are reporting numbers, we need to understand that this may increase or decrease despite our efforts. This increase highlights the need to improve our technological efforts and work on more real-time detection and close-to-real-time interventions. 

Kindred started to report on the numbers of revenue from harmful gambling in 2021, and we can see that the numbers are not decreasing or increasing. What is your comment?

Similarly to what is mentioned above, we have done much work operationally, and we have made sure that there is a personalised approach, especially with higher-risk customers such as the younger population. We have continued improving our operational approach to more personalised approaches and interventions. Nonetheless, we can see that the next step needs to be tech-driven, where we can identify markers of harm earlier on to prevent any harmful gambling revenue.

What is Kindred's plan going forward? 

This quarter we have teamed up with the excellent team at EPIC Risk Management to gain more insight into the best possible interventions and assistance for our customers. EPIC Risk Management have a myriad of lived experience that we can learn from and can better assist our customers through the knowledge that they have.

What would you like to highlight during the Journey towards Zero so far

I want to highlight that although we have seen an increase this quarter, this does not discourage us from continuing this journey. Because this journey is for the whole organisation, it helps to have a Responsible Gambling mission which is not just led by the Responsible Gambling team but by the whole organisation.

Kindred was recently the host of the Sustainable Gambling Conference in Amsterdam. Was there anything from the Conference that will help Kindred to reach its goal of 0%?

To manage and ensure that we reduce harmful gambling, we need to collaborate and have honest conversations with different stakeholders. Having open discussions with academics, lived experience, other operators and treatment centres is the key for the whole industry to move forward.

Henrik Tjärnström, CEO of Kindred Group, mentioned in an interview that you may not reach the target of 0% of revenue from harmful gambling by the end of 2023. Why is that, and what do you need to get as close as possible?

We intend to have this as a long-term journey, which is an initial step towards a transparent discussion. This also helps us to change the discussions from having the Responsible Gambling team as the main owner to having the whole of Kindred as owner. Although we may not reach the target of 0% by the end of 2023, the initial discussions, the goal and the setting have already helped immensely. In addition, this has highlighted the need to improve technological advancements and work with stakeholders outside our industry. 


  • Maris Catania
    Head of Responsible Gaming & Research