UK Gambling Operators Launch Player Awareness Systems Initiative

UK betting and gambling operators announced that they are to install special software on the gambling machines featured at their shops in order to encourage problem players to stop betting. The move comes as part of the Player Awareness Systems initiative introduced today by the Association of British Bookmakers.

The said initiative was based on a research conducted by the Responsible Gambling Trust in 2014. The results from the study showed that it is absolutely possible to distinguish between players with problem gambling behavior and ones with non-problem behavior.

The Player Awareness Systems initiative was launched earlier today during the annual conference of the Responsible Gambling Trust.

Generally speaking, gambling operators will install special software that will be able to analyze customers’ behavior while betting at shops. People showing symptoms of gambling addiction will be sent text messages or emails containing warnings about their behavior. Staff members at the betting shops will also be allowed to intervene and will also be tipped off for this.

It is important to note that gambling customers will have to be logged into their accounts in order for the system to be able to analyze their behavior.

William Hill and Ladbrokes were among the major gambling companies to welcome the newly introduced initiative. Both operators rely heavily on revenue generated from gaming machines at betting shops. For instance, William Hill reported gaming machine revenue of £229.2 million in the first half of the year. Ladbrokes featured a total of 8,732 gaming machines during the period in review and revenue from those accounted for 55% of the overall betting shops revenue.

Commenting on the initiative, Ladbrokes CEO Jim Mullen said that they are fully supportive of the Player Awareness Systems initiative and that they will once again join forces with fellow operators and industry officials to work together on “matters designed to reduce potential harm.”

The Player Awareness Systems initiative was developed by gambling operators Gala Coral, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, and William Hill in 2015. The companies also worked with gaming machine manufacturers Inspired and Scientific Games and their work was observed by the UK Gambling Commission and the Responsible Gambling Trust.

The Association of British Bookmakers revealed that all its members have signed to the Player Awareness Systems initiative. This has been the very first time when an initiative of this kind has met such a positive reaction.

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