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The Remote Gambling Association has published good practice guidelines to help operators when developing or acquiring systems to recognise problematic online gambling behaviour.

In a statement, the RGA said: “Online gambling operators collect and retain a great deal of data about their customers.

“It is incumbent on them to use that information to combat crime and provide a safer gambling environment for their customers. These guidelines primarily focus on the second of these, although it is acknowledged that the gambling patterns of problem gamblers and those gambling using the proceeds of crime can be similar.”

The guidelines are based on the latest research as well as the experience of RGA members and other stakeholders. Areas covered by the paper include operator policies, markers of harm, customer interactions, recording and reporting, staff training and evaluation.

“Data and behavioural analytics are not a ‘silver bullet’ … however, effective use will increasingly prove vital”

Clive Hawkswood, RGA chief executive, said: “It is important to recognise that data and behavioural analytics are not a ‘silver bullet’ that will solve all of the problems associated with minimising gambling-related harm online. However, their effective use will increasingly prove vital when seeking to achieve that.

“The use of data in this way is still in its early days and whatever the industry does now will undoubtedly improve with the benefit of additional research and shared learning. In the meantime we have a collective responsibility to use what we do know, and can do, to the best effect,” said Hawkswood.

“Although many operators already have systems that go far beyond what is described in these guidelines, we hope they will provide a cross-industry benchmark and a sound starting point.”