the industry’s best interest is to work closely with regulators to ensure that regulation achieves its intended impact to the benefit of both the industry and its customers.

INDUSTRY LEVEL CO-OPERATION BETWEEN COMPETITORS Industries have, in the past, found successful ways to co-operate when faced with a challenge that cuts across competitors. Banks co-operated to enable the formation of the credit reference bureaus in order to share data for credit risk decisions and to fight fraud. It is a difficult path to tread, especially at any stage where the sharing of data strays into commercially sensitive areas and may be deemed anti-competitive. Managed in the right way however, the gambling industry and society has a shared interest in building a

shared view, even a database, of the red flags indicating vulnerable accounts. To do this, support could be enlisted from the data industry who already have tried and tested means of securely gathering sensitive data from multiple sources in order to fight everything from fraud to unaffordable lending.

Co-operation between competitors would also be aided by intervention from the government and regulators. If these bodies implemented set rules and guidance, it would help to eliminate any competitive advantage to the less scrupulous operators. Ultimately,

There is no doubt that the gambling industry is facing a complex and significant obstacle when it comes to building responsibility into its DNA and it’s likely that no single company can solve this problem on their own. However, each can develop sound values that will serve to underpin their approach, and so protect both their reputation and look after the interests of their customers. Complex issues such as this create great scope for cooperation between providers to enable sharing of information and collaboration – potentially by way of a joint customer charter – to help protect individuals, without straying into anti-competitive or business sensitive actions.

The soul-searching question that the industry must ask itself now is how to truly become not just custodians of customers’ data, but how to become custodians of customers’ best interests. By using intelligence to detect when gambling activity patterns shift from harmless fun to addictive harm, and working together the industry can address ethical concerns and build trusted services for its customers.

62 JULY 2020 GIO Stock

Netfalls/Adobe Stock

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