In this interview with CalvinAyre’s Rebecca Liggero, Graham Weir of Ladbrokes tells us how gambling operators may help prevent players from becoming problem gamblers.
It’s not new for gambling operators to be unfairly blamed for the condition of problem gamblers in the society. Anti-gambling groups accuse gambling operators of turning a blind eye on the plight of players who have fallen into gambling addiction.
Perhaps one of the outrageous allegations that anti-gambling advocates thrown at gambling operators was showering them with numerous promotions, which they often refer as inducements. They claim that the inducements were the primary reason why problem gamblers couldn’t stop themselves from wagering beyond their means.
But contrary to the belief of anti-gambling advocates, many gambling operators have put safety nets in order to prevent problem gambling in their facility. In Ladbrokes, they have put in place a kind of messaging mechanism that could prevent problem gambling in their shops.
Graham Weir of Ladbrokes said they use a series of messages based on the customer’s own betting behavior. The first message that the customers receive, according to Weir, is a gentle reminder.
“The first message that a customer will receive from us will look like a light touch. They may not even consider it as a responsible gambling message,” Weir told CalvinAyre.com. “So we talk about gambling responsibly, setting limits, deposit limits.”
When they notice that a customer shows a more problematic behavior, Weir said they send a direct message to the player concerned. “We talk about what they have done, tell him that ‘we’ve noticed you’ve spent more time, more money,” he said. “ And if the customer goes beyond that, we get quite direct with them. It’s more of intervention. We’ll ask them to slow down and we’ll say ‘we are ĉoncerned.’ And up to that point, we leave them to make their own jugdments about the messages.”
Shop colleagues, according to Weir, are very important to Ladbrokes when it comes to looking at customer behavior.
“Bet shops are important because you’ll see lots of customers throughout the week. We encourage shop colleagues to understand what normal looks like for customers,” he said. “So that when they veer away from normal behavior, it they are having a bad day, if they are losing too much money, if they are looking stressed out, our shop colleagues are trained to spot that, have a chat with them and just encourage them to havea break and go home for the day.”