Safer gambling 2018/19 in review

Rank is committed to providing a safe gambling environment for its customers, and developing a culture where the desire to do so is evident in the decisions that we make, the products that we offer and the service we deliver.

As the emphasis during the year has shifted towards ‘safer’ gambling, rather than simply promoting responsible gambling, we have focused on two clear objectives, namely to:

  • consider the products and the environments where we offer gambling, assess their risks, and work to make them safer in the first instance; and
  • promote safer participation by our customers in the gaming that we do offer.

This developed into a refreshed policy and new strategy endorsed by the safer gambling committee, and a specific workstream within the transformation programme, with initiatives proposed from around the business.

During the year some of the initiatives that launched or progressed are:

  • a trial in five casinos of complex algorithms developed in partnership with the Canadian company Focal Research, designed to help us detect potentially at-risk behaviour among slot machine players. Grosvenor is committed to completing this trial and to extending the use of the ALeRT system across all casinos in the coming year;
  • establishing a dedicated safer gambling team within our Sheffield Customer Solutions Hub;
  • a trial of affordability modelling in our digital business and a proof-of-concept (in partnership with Experian) to examine the potential use of open-banking as a way of improving customer due diligence;
  • implementing the first phase of time and money controls to our casinos’ slot and electronic roulette machines.

Cross-industry working

In collaboration with other operators, we continue to examine how to support better youth education, industry marketing codes of practice, and improvements to the controls and tools we offer to customers to manage their gambling.

Rank is committed to working with others to help fund a truly national programme of education and treatment for problem gambling. We believe that these vital services should be readily accessible to anyone who may benefit from them.

Safer gambling in the year ahead

During 2019/20 our initiatives will focus on:

  • better targeting of our customer interactions with those most at risk;
  • reducing our reliance on less-sophisticated systems of triggers and alerts in our retail businesses;
  • further pursuing the assessment of affordability risk, reducing our reliance on generic thresholds and those based only on financial metrics;
  • sharing best practice internationally between our business units; and
  • refreshing and reinvigorating our approach to customer messaging to encourage safer gambling behaviour.

We are increasingly moving away from considering the risks of, for example, money laundering and problem gambling in isolation. Instead, we are making progress towards a more holistic review of customer risk and we will continue to invest in this area in the year ahead. Specifically, we will start using socio-economic and demographic data to inform our risk assessments and interaction with customers who may be playing beyond their means or may be at risk of gamblingrelated harm. We will also continue to improve the quality and accessibility of our player data, including cross-channel transaction data, to support a better overview of risk for customers that play both online and offline.

As policy-makers, regulators and stakeholders more generally continue to pay close attention to gambling to ensure it operates in a responsible and safe manner, and as our business continues its wider transformation, we must ensure that our approach to safer gambling develops in tandem. We are committed to doing so.

Rank's dedicated responsible gambling website