In Data analysis, Gambling, Game marketing

GDPR is undoubtedly going to make a significant impact on European licensed online gambling operators, when it comes into force in May 2018. The requirements of GDPR will undoubtedly be seen by many operators as being a threat to their business, due in no small part to the scale of potential fines they can face, up to €10m or 2% of global turnover, whichever is greater. I don’t blame them. This legislation appears tailor made for extracting big fines from an industry that is a long way away from having control over its customer data.

So, with all these weighty topics up for debate, the volume of poorly targeted emails sent to customers should become a priority for operators as explicit consent will be required for profiling activities or cross-border data transfers. While this may appear as a threat to the industry, it can also be viewed as an opportunity to address the major problems it faces. An emphasis on improving data management will in many cases organically lead to a review of how data is used and the value it provides. With encouragement from regulators, the potential of behavioural data should be brought within scope. As operators are already going to require explicit consent for CRM profiling, there will be little additional impositions from the collection and processing of behavioural data, particularly as behavioural data is strictly gathered anonymously, with no way of identifying the device or user. It’s only the reconciliation with CRM data or other augmentation that brings it under the auspices of GDPR.

Behavioural data is the data collected on the activities of players within a game. Any activity they undertake within the game can be recorded for the purposes of statistically evaluating the health of the game, identifying unusual activity and correcting it, live within the game, through messaging, making offers or changing game parameters, such as imposing restrictions on cashing-out, or the availability of specific types of bet.

Behavioural data, when combined with predictive analytics and the capability to react to what’s happening in real-time, provides a powerful tool to identify and mitigate potential fraud and money laundering. It can manage player experiences very closely, so doing away with the protective and misleading covenants associated with sign-up bonuses, that are so unloved by players and regulators alike. Importantly, it is also the ideal tool for identifying the well-defined behavioural patterns associated with problem gambling when they occur, and enabling the game to encourage healthier patterns of play, or impose protective limitations, automatically and live, as the player plays.

By understanding how individual players interact with a game, and comparing this to well defined problem behaviours, such as only leaving with zero credits, high numbers of daily sessions and taking increasing risks after losing, it is possible to use predictive analytics to define players who are most likely to be at risk and provide progressive remedies, through messaging, incentives aimed at preventing these behaviours, and imposing limitations on the account.

This has to be the way forwards, as the disadvantages of self-exclusion are well documented. It’s a tool that arrives too late for the affected player, offering only limited protection, and for the operator it acts only acts a means of chasing away high value players to competitors. This conflict of interests ultimately means that regulators have to take a proactive role in refereeing the process.

To find out more about dealing with problem players using data and real-time marketing, click here to download the guide.

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