Just over one year ago I conducted an interview with beBettor’s Co-Founder and CEO Harry Cott and we discussed his innovative “networked” approach to customer affordability in the U.K. market. Since then, Cott and his team have listened to client feedback and broadened their offerings to address a quickly moving and changing regulatory environment.
“Its no secret that the U.K. regulator has been very active in the last 12 months, not only with fines and sanctions, but also with publication”, beBettor’s COO Scott McGregor shared with me in a follow-up interview.
“From our point of view, we’ve had a focus on their affordability legislation and that started last year with the introduction of the Enforcement Report in June 2019”, he said.
“Since the onset of the pandemic, the regulators published even more formal guidance and highlighted affordability as an expectation of operators to conduct checks and consider appropriate thresholds for their players”, McGregor added.
Seeing as McGregor, Cott and their clients do not anticipate affordability dropping off the headlines anytime soon, beBettor introduced “stand-alone” affordability checks alongside their “networked” services. Operators now have the ability to pick and choose what beBettor data services they want to use to augment their responsible gaming frameworks.
“We still focus on responsible gambling data, that’s the overarching theme of what we do, however we have split up our services slightly. I believe last time it was an affordability network that we were talking about, now we have these stand-alone affordability checks which is where the regulation has been pointing to”, shared McGregor.
“And separately we are working on the concept of a single customer view, however that’s a separate work stream so no longer a networked product with regards to affordability itself”, he clarified.
When asked why operators benefit from beBettor’s services as opposed to doing customer affordability checks on their own, McGregor said it was down to resources and manpower.
“The data that we’re tracking here needs to get updated every day, effectively. We make this data clean, we make it parsable. Ultimately, we put this data at the fingertips of the operators”, he explained.
“We’ve designed our product to be used in a scalable format, a full automated solution…we’re just trying to make their work flows easier, really”, McGregor added.
Aside from the quick expansion of beBettor’s services in unprecedented times, the big names now working with Cott and McGregor underscore the duo’s true entrepreneurship and ability to assist U.K.-facing iGaming operators.
“Clive Hawkswood has joined the team, he was the head of the RGA for 16 years I believe, obviously the RGA was a predecessor to the BGC, the industry lobby group”, McGregor revealed.
“Mark Blandford’s been involved with us since the beginning, he founded SportingBet and Jesper Kärrbrinke is also involved and he’s the former CEO of Mr. Green and Chairman of Green Jade Games”, he said.
“With regards to clients, we are working with a number of the Power 50 and even since the regulation changed in the last month or so, we’ve found 10 or so trials and proof of concepts and they are ongoing with them now”, McGregor added.
While times are unpredictable right now to say the least, McGregor is certain affordability will remain at the forefront of U.K. regulations for the foreseeable future and beBettor will position their services appropriately.
“I can’t see any of these new focuses changing and can’t see them rolling it backwards with regards to affordability or the new restrictions that have been added. It will continue to be an issue”, he said.
“The All Party Parliamentary Group should be coming out with a report in the coming few days I expect, it will be interesting to see what they will be suggesting. I imagine maximum stake online will be one of the focuses for the U.K.”, he said.
“Beyond that, in the larger regulatory space, the Gambling Act is being looked at and we’ll be keeping our eyes on that”, McGregor added.
In terms of beBettor’s roadmap for the future, McGregor reiterated he and his team will be keeping a close eye on the regulations and deploying updated services as quickly as possible, in addition to fleshing out their original “networked” approach.
“This concept of a ‘single customer view’ and operators sharing data for responsible gambling has kind of been put on the back burner recently and it will be interesting to see what changes there and if it comes to the forefront under the BGC pushing that forward”, McGregor added.