As regulators across the world begin tightening legislations relating to safer gambling and AML, it has become clear that operators must place more of an emphasis on compliance.

Writing for SBC News, Warren Russell from W2 and Crucial Compliance’s Paul Foster gave their accounts on why the heightened scrutiny from regulators can present a range of challenges for operators across the world.

They wrote: “This will undoubtedly present challenges for operators and especially smaller businesses with less resources than their tier one rivals. Most big-name operators have compliance departments manned by 15+ people plus wider business analytical support using a range of platforms, data feeds and so on which allows easier adoption of stringent player protection principles. Their deep pockets may not reduce the complexity but it certainly helps.

“Regulation makes compliance complex and costly and, in some cases, inconsistent, but it doesn’t need to be this way. Smaller operators can leverage best-in-class technologies to drive their compliance efforts without the need for several separate systems and a large number of staff to meet compliance requirements.”

Pointing towards their own services, Russell noted that W2 utilises global data points and innovative technology to “deliver groundbreaking customer insight producing meaningful outcomes when it comes to a customer’s identity and affordability ratings”. 

However these data points, he added, “only go so far” which is why W2’s collaboration with Crucial Compliance is of the utmost importance.

Foster shared that Crucial Compliance Player Protection (CPP) has been designed as a single, scalable solution for compliance and business management, with an aim of improving the accuracy of review for AML and responsible gambling to better protect at-risk players. 

This is done by using 174 different harm markers to ensure that players are kept in the “entertainment zone” – creating frictionless protection through a combination of “advanced algorithms and machine learning calibrated to individual operators”. 

Russell and Foster added: “These models are based on individual player levels, segmented by product, country, vertical, channel and more – which is key for AML. This allows operators to compare player behaviour not only with others, but against their own benchmarked behaviour over time, which is key to minimising gambling related harm. 

“This improves output and efficiency of the compliance team – which can be significantly reduced in number due to the power of the technology – by giving operators the platform and tools to be able to focus on product and on a country-by-country basis. 

“It is the only compliance platform that has been built by compliance professionals from the ground up for the specific purpose of compliance and with a focus on holistic player protection and powered by the real time data feeds from W2’s award winning platform.

“The tool is also supported by an experienced training, data and analytical team that allows operators to maximise the platform’s full potential and accuracy during and post implementation.

“The platform allows operators to track harm markers and interact with the player about their playing habits. This is not to tell them what to do, rather to educate them about how to better stay in control of their play and utilise the tools available to help them do this. 

“This in turn means that players can continue to enjoy online gambling without experiencing harm which ultimately means them having to utilise self-exclusion. Not only that, but CPP monitors, tracks and stores all actions and interactions taken by the operator at that point in time.”

Russell and Foster disclosed the importance of this “when it comes to providing evidence to the regulator” – especially for those operators wanting to show “that they took the necessary actions to mitigate the player developing a gambling problem”. 

They continued: “With the W2 and CPP partnership, all activity is verified, monitored, tracked, fully audited and stored in real-time, and can be recalled with the click of a button. It even provides graphs that show harm markers 30 days before and 30 days after an interaction has been made and whether it worked or not.

“While operators cannot change a player’s nature and desire to gamble, they can change their behaviour and when carrying out responsible gambling audits, regulators such as the GBGC expect operators to be able to evidence what they have done in this regard.”