Entain announces new affordability checks

Entain, formerly known as GVC Holdings, has announced that it will introduce a new affordability checking model.

The model will be applicable to customers in the UK, and will form part of the Advanced Responsibility and Care (ARC) initiative. 

Entain expects that the model will be fully implemented in the country in summer 2021. 

What will the new checks consist of? 

Through the new affordability checks, which have been described as “pioneering”, the operator will be able to find at-risk customers. The company can then add stricter checks and stake limits to help them avoid developing gambling problems. 

Entain currently has 14 brands in the UK, and this feature has been rolled out to all of them. The ARC affordability technology uses data available commercially for all users, as well as open source information. 

The above two features will be combined with indicators that suggest a user could be in danger of developing gambling problems. 

Data scientists working for the company have also developed models that showcase different levels of risk. As such, the operator can find possible harmful behaviour before it becomes worse. 

Entain Group Operations Director Peter Marcus commented on the rollout of the new technology. He said: 

“We have been working on player affordability concepts for the past 18 months as part of our ARC affordability programme. 

“This aims to identify relevant limits at the right time to protect customers whom our technology has identified as being vulnerable, or particularly at risk.”

Acting on a big talking point 

Entain claims that it is the first major operator to utilise technology-led player safety. 

Affordability has become a huge talking point in the UK. Some reformers have called for a player spending ‘soft cap’, while the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) also launched a consultation in November 2020. In this, suggested creating blanket thresholds for all regulated operators. 

However, suggestions have not been free of criticism. Beyond worries that channelisation could drop, others were concerned that it wouldn’t do anything to stop problem gambling. Moreover, they were worried that it would affect those without issues. 

Entain has sought to avoid such issues from arising. Marcus continued: 

“This means the vast majority of customers who show no indications of financial risk can still bet with us freely.

“We think this is an important step in preserving personal freedoms, and will also greatly benefit the horse racing industry, which is concerned about the impact of blanket measures on its future viability.”

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