Home > Sustainable Gambling > Entain player protection tool usage up 98%, as firm highlights top ESG priorities

Entain player protection tool usage up 98%, as firm highlights top ESG priorities

| By nicolemacedo
Entain's player protection tool Advanced Responsibility and Care (ARC) saw a 98% increase in player uptake in 2023, the operator revealed in its 2023 ESG report.
ESG, sustainability

The player protection programme, which launched in 2021, was rolled out across 27 online jurisdictions (out of a total of 34 possible markets) during the period. A retail version also went live across Entain shops in the UK and Ireland in 2023.

Up to 742,112 customers used the programme during the 12-month period. ARC, which stands for Advanced Responsibility and Care, utilises AI to approach risk reduction in players.

Player protection interventions jump 98% in 2023

ARC uses three AI-based models to assess players’ risk levels. It can flag or recommend players to implement various features including payment method limits, unusual deposits, long session lengths and large withdrawals.

The player protection tool can also offer safer gambling prevention and treatment programmes when problematic habits are flagged. In total there were 8.7 million ARC interventions over the year, up 98% from 2022.

Entain said ARC had also helped drive an uptake in safer gambling controls among players in 2023, with 98% of high-risk players setting at least one control feature. For medium-risk players, 65% implemented at least one control.

Research and treatment funding boosted

As part of its ESG efforts, Entain also donated £18.7m, or 1% of its gross gaming yield (GGY) in the UK, to support research, education and treatment (RET) for problem gambling in 2023.

In 2021, the UK Betting and Gaming Council said its five largest members, including Entain, had pledged to raise their annual contributions to RET from 0.5% of GGY in 2020 to 1% in 2023.

“Our approach to sustainability is underpinned by our new corporate strategy, which outlines sustainability as a key enabler of long-term business success,” interim group head of sustainability Jay Dossetter said of the report.

Cybersecurity a top priority

Player protection and cybersecurity were among the eight key priorities established during a major review of ESG, carried out in 2023. The findings were published as a list of challenges ranked by their relative impact on both the firm and its stakeholders.  

Entain said cybersecurity was its fourth biggest sustainability concern.

An increased focus on security resulted in new security features being launched in 2023, including multi-fact authentication for customers and AI-based systems used to uncover patterns of malicious activity and block attacks on customers.

On AI, Entain is planning to launch a new policy around artificial intelligence this year, while it is also preparing for emerging legislation around AI, particularly the EU’s Artificial Intelligence Act.

The report said 3.2% of the firm’s technology budget was allocated to cybersecurity in 2023, a figure that was previously unreported.

It said the average time taken to fix cybersecurity vulnerabilities had dropped 65%, compared to 2022.

Regulated revenues at 100%

As of December 2023, 100% of Entain’s revenues were from regulated markets, up from 99% in 2021 and 2022. Entain’s presence in unregulated markets was put under the spotlight during His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs investigation of its activities in Turkey last year, which forced it to pull out of any market without a clear route to securing a licence.

In December, it held licences in 34 jurisdictions. It remains active in six territories where it “can see a clear pathway to regulation that will enable us to obtain domestic licences in the next two years”; Austria, Brazil, Chile, Finland, Mexico and Peru.

Its environmental targets include reaching net zero by 2035. The goal is to reduce Scope 1, Scope 2 and material Scope 3 emissions by 90% in 2035, compared to 2020.

During 2023, the group’s Scope 1 emissions rose 20% due to various acquisitions. Scope 2 emissions were also up 10.6%.

“To make sure we are focused on the right issues, we refreshed our materiality assessment, aligning with the principle of double materiality,” Virginia McDowell, chair of Entain’s sustainability and compliance committee, explained.

“This helped us understand our unique sustainability related risks and opportunities and our impacts on society and the environment, gathering input from over 250 internal and external stakeholders.”

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