Kindred Group’s work to ensure a safe and secure gambling experience is guided by our Journey towards Zero, which sets out our ambition to have zero percent revenue generated by harmful gambling. In 2021, Kindred began publicly reporting the share of revenue derived from harmful gambling every quarter. The journey has had both its ups and downs, but the commitment to what it entails has only grown stronger. Karim Chikh, Senior Product Manager – Data, guides us through the most recent developments.
Hi Karim, Kindred has just reported on the revenue from harmful gambling for Q2. What are your initial thoughts?
I think it’s important that we reiterate and acknowledge that sustainable change doesn’t happen overnight. Our sustained efforts across Kindred have indeed resulted in positive trends moving in the right direction.
What would you say to someone who claims that the lack of progress defeats the purpose?
First of all, we recognise that meaningful change is an ongoing and continuous journey. With that in mind, the journey has served as a catalyst for our sustainability work and continues to be a guiding pillar in how we conduct our organisation and develop our business. We are learning a lot and can ongoingly optimise our efforts, while incrementally gaining a better understanding of our footprint. Without getting too caught up in the details, it is a journey towards zero. And that distinction is important, because it signals zero as a direction and with it an understanding of the complexity of the task. I think it would be naïve, maybe even a bit presumptuous, to underestimate the challenges of getting to where we want to be. We have to remain humble before the process and acknowledge that we still have a lot to do, not least at an industry level.
As you released the numbers for Q2, you also amended the reported numbers for Q4 2022 and Q1 2023. Can you please walk us through why?
The miscalculation was due to a data handling error in connection to an update of the data reporting process. It more specifically pertained to the implementation of a new self-exclusion feature as part of our ongoing commitment to responsible gambling, which records were left out of the calculations. We have since taken immediate steps to rectify the issue.
With the reporting being an integral part of the Journey towards Zero, how do you view this kind of error?
Needless to say, data reliability is an imperative part of our reporting, and we take any errors in that regard very seriously. With a lot of activity within our responsible gambling work that potentially can impact the data input – as was the case with these new type of self-exclusions – we are running constant reviews to make sure that all the data points are accounted for and calculated correctly.
Can we trust the data going forward?
Yes, our data is subject to thorough controls and governance mechanisms. If anything, this has made us more attentive to any changes that might influence the calculations and made our processes even more rigorous.
If we stop there and take a closer look at specific efforts – could you tell us a bit more about what measures you’ve been taking when it comes to data stability and reliability?
We have taken proactive steps to prioritise data stability and reliability within our organisation. One of the key actions we have undertaken is setting up parallel processes that utilise different data sources to compare and monitor any discrepancies. This approach provides us with a robust system for validating and ensuring the accuracy of our data.
And as we look ahead, what do you consider to be some key focus points?
Leveraging evidence-backed markers and intervention strategies. Through that we aim to provide timely support and assistance to those in need. Our ambition is to expand impactful interventions that have a tangible positive impact on individuals at risk for gambling-related harm. By aligning our initiatives with robust research and evidence, we can enhance our ability to identify, intervene, and provide the necessary support, ultimately contributing to a safer and more responsible gambling environment.
We want to see sustainable progress that addresses the root of the challenges at an industry level, not mere cosmetic quick fixes. At the end of the day, that is what this – our Journey towards Zero – is really all about.