EGBA’s Haijer welcomes Kindred report but argues industry must do more

Maarten Haijer of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has warned that the industry must learn its lessons and adapt as it comes under increasing public scrutiny.

The EGBA’s Secretary General recently spoken highly of Kindred Group’s move to make public the shares of its revenues made from customers at a high-risk of gambling harm.

Kindred’s report found that during the fourth quarter of 2020 trading, 4.3% of gross winnings were made from players categorised as ‘high risk’.

The online gambling group has confirmed that it will release its new transparency matric as part of its safer gambling policy, as it seeks to achieve 0% of revenue from customers suffering from problem gambling by 2023.

“This is a really important initiative – for customers and the sector – and a big step forward in transparency and accountability,” Haijer noted.

“When you look at their numbers, it’s clear that Kindred’s internal procedures for detecting and addressing problematic gambling behaviour are already delivering positive results: over 70 per cent of the customers detected by Kindred’s Player Safety Early Detection System positively changed their gambling behaviour upon detection and intervention from the company.”

However, as the industry ‘rightly comes under public scrutiny’, he argued that: “There are still way too many companies in the sector who far too readily point the finger angrily at regulation and complain about it, without taking responsibility and providing solutions.”

Haijer suggested that the industry must ‘become much more mature in how it responds to society and it needs to do so quickly’.

“This includes acknowledging that the sector is accountable for what it does and doesn’t do, and how it protects its customers, particularly those who need greater support,” he added.

“Otherwise, the future will look bleak, especially for those companies which continue to think that the best course of action to public scrutiny is to do nothing.”

Finally, the Secretary General assured operators that the Brussels-based EGBA wants ‘betting to be enjoyable for everyone’, but added that ‘accountability is more than word, it’s the key ingredient for a future-proof online gambling sector’.

Earlier this month the trade association also issued warnings regarding the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU), arguing that the terms and conditions of the Brexit deal do not adequately safeguard online gambling.

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