Kindred calls for “evidence-based debate” on gambling harm

| By Nosa Omoigui
Kindred has implored decision-makers to ensure that debates related to the Gambling Act Review are based on evidence, in an open letter to UK lawmakers.
Kindred calls for evidence-based debate on gambling

In the open letter sent to both the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Gambling-Related Harm and Peers for Gambling Reform, Kindred used itself as an example as to how the industry can provide accurate information to any debate around the gambling industry.

In 2021, Kindred opted to reveal what percentage of its revenue was derived from those considered to be problem gamblers. By the year’s third quarter, Kindred’s revenue from harmful gambling fell to 3.3%, though this figure was up to 4% in Q4.

Addressing these figures, Kindred dismissed a claim that more than 60% of operator’s profits come from the 5% of gamblers at risk of harm as inaccurate after it was circulated in media publications including the Times.

The operator said that gambling companies have a financial incentive to prevent harm among their players, and that any claims that operators use an exploitative business model “fundamentally misunderstand the economics of listed gambling operators”.

Kindred’s UK general manager Neil Banbury said: “Our data shows that the risk profile of revenue on higher spending accounts is significantly lower than the risk profile of lower spending accounts, indicating that the narrative of higher levels of spend automatically equating to higher levels of harm is not accurate. 

“Our data also indicates that tailoring measures according to risk profile (rather than applying blanket fixed measures) helps ensure low risk customers are not needlessly pushed outside safer licensed environments. Working with partners on affordability, Kindred Group has been able to reduce the revenue from potentially financially vulnerable accounts to below 1%.”

Kindred remains encouraged by the potential of AI and other technology in helping companies to identify at-risk players. This includes Kindred’s Player Safety Early Detection System which, using more than 25 data points to trigger customer interaction when risk increases, showed that four out of five Kindred players displayed improved behaviour after interaction.

Kindred’s letter comes in the midst of the ongoing Gambling Act Review, with a white paper forming part of the review due to be published later this year. The review has received support from a number of groups, such as the APPG for Gambling-Related Harm and the Betting and Gaming Council – the latter of which also expressed the need for an evidence-led review.

Banbury added: “At Kindred, we are clear that a healthy debate based on facts and evidence is what is required to improve outcomes for those who do have problems with their gambling. By ensuring we all use accurate data and information in the public debate, we can achieve that.”

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