Andy Masters , COO at Crucial Compliance, opens up to SiGMA News about leading regulators moving towards tighter enforcement and operators' needs to strengthen compliance methods
The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is one of the leading regulators in the world and continues to fine-tune its requirements to ensure its licensees are meeting the highest possible safer gambling and AML standards.
As part of these efforts, the regulator is actively moving towards enforcement and could be set to adopt a similar approach to that of the Great Britain and Swedish Gambling Commissions. This means MGA-licensed operators will need to take steps to strengthen compliance now and build on this over the coming months.
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.
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.
Crucial Compliance Player Protection (CPP) has been designed as a single, scalable solution for compliance and business management. The ultimate aim is to improve the accuracy of review for AML and responsible gambling to better protect at-risk players.
From a customer perspective, it is built to guide them through their own playing habits and keep them playing in the “entertainment zone”
This is achieved by using harm markers – we have 174 in total – combined with advanced algorithms and machine learning calibrated to individual operators.
These models are based on individual player levels and 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. 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.
This is important when it comes to providing evidence to the regulator that they took the necessary actions to mitigate the player developing a gambling problem. Traditionally, this is tough as the evidence needs to be pulled from several departments, each using different platforms and data.
With CPP, all activity is 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 UKGC expect operators to be able to evidence what they have done in this regard.
MGA-licensed operators might not have to meet these standards right now, but they will in the coming months and years. And for smaller operators and start-ups, it is crucial to get compliance right from the get-go.
Compliance can be complex and costly, but with CCP we have developed a single solution that is scalable, fully audited and tailored to the unique requirements of each operator we work with. That it only requires a small team to operate is what makes it ideal for tier two and tier three operators.
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