The Kindred Group has reported the proportion of its revenue it says that comes from “high-risk” players (that is those who show signs of harmful gambling behaviours).
The massive company, owners of the 32Red Casino site say that it gets just 4% of its revenue from high-risk customers.
The move comes as gambling businesses scramble to show UK politicians that they take safe gambling seriously and are willing to take steps to reduce gambling harms before the release of a major report on the gambling industry in the UK.
Kindred says that it aims to reduce its revenue from high-risk gamblers to zero by 2023.
The figures are bound to be controversial. The 4% figure is based on players who are identified by Kindred as showing dangerous behaviour and with whom action is taken, including account closures. It also includes players who exclude for more than six months and those who the company’s own system (Player Safety Early Detection System) flags up as being high risk.
The company says that 76% of its players started to behave more healthily after interaction with the company and its safer gambling tools.
The role of high risk and addicted gamblers in the profits of casino sites is highly controversial. Figures that have shown casino sites collecting massive amounts from relatively small numbers of players who are treated as VIP players while spending huge amounts of money very quickly have been bad publicity for the industry. Even referring high-value players to sites was revealed to be a lucrative earner in affiliate fees.
However, actually pinning down how much money is spent by harmful gamblers, or in harmful gambling activities, is very difficult. Are casinos based on an exploitative model that can’t be reformed or will mitigating models like Kindred’s give players who get into trouble enough support to get out.
Kindred’s report is fuel for this debate. From February 2021 the company, one of the biggest in the UK, will continue to report this figure, with the 2023 target no-doubt being monitored closely by observers.
Kindred’s UK General Manager said:
“This is a key moment in the debate here in the UK. We are committed to contributing positively to that debate and believe that by opening our books and working together with Government and other stakeholders, we can reach a solution to ensure players who need assistance with their betting behaviour receive it. We have come a long way at Kindred and believe in ensuring that gambling is only ever a form of entertainment, but we want to continue going further to drive down that four per cent figure to zero per cent by 2023.”
There is a huge debate about gambling in the UK at the moment. The UK Gambling Commission, the country’s only gambling regulator is due to report soon on an update on gambling laws. It seems likely that an advertising ban will be least of the recommendations from this report at the UK GC has recently brought in new rules for all slot games, including a ban on autoplay features.
Watch this space.