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Open letter to Carolyn Harris, MP

mån, 27 dec, 2021

For many years, Kindred Group has pursued to provide a safe gambling experience for our customers. Early 2021 we became the first gambling operator to report our share of revenue derived from high-risk players who show signs of harmful gambling. We have a clear ambition to aim for zero revenue from these players on our platform by end of 2023.

We know that for some, gambling can become a problem. Therefore, we constantly strive to become even better at identifying players that exhibit risky gambling behaviour and guide them back to healthier gambling habits. We want gambling to be simple and enjoyable for everyone. Reducing harmful gambling in society is a long-term process which requires a fact-based, open, and constructive dialogue, not least with decision-makers. Therefore, we have published below the open letter sent to Carolyn Harris MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Gambling Related Harm in UK, in regards to her Twitter post on 20 December 2021.

 

Carolyn Harris MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Gambling Related Harm
Houses of Parliament
London
SW1A 0AA

Delivered via email to Carolyn Harris MP and to the APPG’s Secretariat

Dear Carolyn,

I am writing to you in relation to a recent post you made on Twitter (at 6:37pm GMT on December 20th 2021 you posted this tweet).

I was surprised to see the language and tone of your assertion that our brand utilises ‘exploitation’ in relation to our communications and wider customer experience. In fact, in this case, our internal investigations show that this customer created a new account using a false name and other details that would not match any GAMSTOP registration. Kindred proudly works with and supports GAMSTOP, of which I am sure you are aware of in your role as Chair of the APPG on Gambling Related Harm.

If you had instead taken the time to investigate the circumstances in more detail - rather than jumping to conclusions in order to share the tweet - you could have avoided contributing to a false narrative.

This type of approach has become symptomatic in the discussion about safer gambling – and specifically in cases such as these on social media, they are often not always as they first seem on a tweet. The direct consequence is that the debate is conducted on the wrong premise - with misleading statements without substance driving the narrative and ultimately helping nobody as we collectively search to find better and more effective ways to reduce problem gambling.

For broader context, Kindred Group continues to take an industry leading approach to its operations here in the UK. By placing sustainability and responsible gambling at the heart of everything we do, we have driven forward an ambitious agenda to change the way that our brands operate in the UK.

Unfortunately, though, much of the discussion around betting has not been focused on data and evidence in the UK. Claims that problem gambling is in our interest or that up to half of our revenue comes from problem gamblers, for example, are wide of the mark, lack any factual foundation and actually make it harder to solve the underlying issue.

That is why at the start of 2021, Kindred took the decision - as part of our wider strategy to reach zero percent of our revenue derived from harmful gambling by 2023 - to open our books for the first time.

Since then, Kindred has disclosed the share of its revenue that comes from harmful gambling, as well as the share of customers who return to healthier gambling behaviour thanks to various measures taken by Kindred. Indeed, contrary to the ‘half of gambling revenue comes from problem gamblers’ claim, our last data showed that figure was in fact around 3%. While this is lower, it is of course our aim to have this at 0%. Insights about our progress has been continuously shared on our website - which you can view here. As you will also see, the proportion of high risk customers is falling across our platforms - showing a positive route forward as our interventions and approach develops.

I would be delighted to discuss the above with you in more detail - including sharing how we are utilising data through our innovative Player Safety–Early Detection System (PS-EDS) that uses DSM5 in practice through technology to keep customers safe.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Banbury
UK General Manager, Kindred Group

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