Online gambling operator Kindred Group has gone public with the share of revenue it derives from ‘harmful gambling’ by its high-risk players, while explaining its efforts to eventually reduce this share to zero.
Last Friday, Kindred announced that while around 98% of customers of its various online brands were deemed to gamble responsibly, the company still derived 4.31% of its Q4 2020 revenue from so-called ‘high-risk’ players. Kindred said it would continue to release such statistics in future as it strives to reduce the percentage to zero by 2023.
Kindred released stats showing that Q4’s ‘high-risk’ revenue rate was a modest improvement from 4.39% in Q3 and the 4.72% in Q2, but represented a significant gain from the 3.88% in Q1. The company said Q4 showed a 75.7% improvement in the share of detected ‘high-risk’ customers who changed their behavior after the company intervened in response to signs of excessive play.
The stats show more significant decreases in ‘low-risk’ and ‘medium-risk’ revenue share, with a corresponding rise in the ‘social’ category, suggesting Kindred’s responsible gambling tools have a far greater impact on individuals who already possess the personal tools needed to keep their gambling in check.
Kindred’s head of responsible gaming Maris Catania acknowledged that the company’s goal of zero revenue from problem gambling might not be achievable, but the aim was to get as close to zero as possible.
Kindred touts its Player Safety – Early Detection System (PS-EDS) as invaluable in its quest to identity signs of problem gambling before they spiral out of control. The goal is to steer players to Kindred’s in-house tools (deposit/time limits, time-outs, self-exclusion, etc.) but if players continue to display problematic signs, their accounts will be closed.
There is a certain self-interest in Kindred going public with its numbers, as CEO Henrik Tjärnström suggested that the most important contribution policy makers could make to assist Kindred’s quest would be to “reduce the flight to unlicensed gambling operators, who fail to provide players with any safety measures whatsoever. The so-called channelization must increase.”
Catania rejected criticisms of Kindred’s authenticity in revealing its numbers, saying gambling operators shouldn’t “shy away from the negative side of gambling but instead work towards minimizing it as much as possible.” Catania expressed the hope that Kindred’s rivals would “understand the need to focus on safer gambling, rather than just profits.”