Technical innovation is understood as bringing something new to the market and our minds are set to believe that there is a “technological fix” for every problem. Making new cars can solve problems with pollution; health problems can be solved with new medicine. Even problems with loneliness can be solved through online dating sites.
People ask each other constantly, “what is the latest thing?” Well, nowadays we talk a lot about sustainable innovations. For example, we have been faced with the reality that cars have a negative impact on our environment and we have set out on a mission to create new cars that don’t cause pollution problem. Yet, the question might not be how technology can help us with “quick fixes”. By using an electric car instead of a petrol-powered car, we don’t really change our behaviour or our way of thinking, do we? True innovation would be to re-think transportation in general.
The answer to the headline question is therefor: it already has. With current technical advances and innovations, responsible gambling is now making an impact on the user experience. Today, player tracking is being used as a communication portal that communicates with players through a risk perspective. For the responsible gaming provider this is ground breaking technology, because with player tracking, they have the means to create a sustainable gambling population – however, it is how we use the technology that decides how well we will succeed.
The technical advances of responsible gambling already made must be systematically integrated in the mind-set of an Operator; today it is not an aspect of every decision, every move or every marketing strategy. The changing nature of responsible gambling and player tracking solutions is about how it now must work its way into being a natural part of the “customer experience” (which the industry tells us is the most important competitive differentiator) and produce insights for the Operator.
The challenge ahead is to find out how a gaming provider can engage the next generation of players without creating a new group of problematic gamblers.
The key to success is to focus on what players respond to
You need to get to know your players in order to figure out their needs. This is an old but not out-dated truth. With responsibility in mind, the knowledge of how your players behave could create a conflict between different sectors within the organisation. The tech team is often set out to gather Big Data and when the data has been contextualized into information, the obvious question for the marketing team is – “shouldn’t we try to use the information we have about our players to market our products better?”. The CSR department might instead scratch their heads and ask what should we do with these high-risk players we have identified?
The possible conflict between profit and responsibility does not benefit the concept of responsible gambling. It is necessary that the different departments within the organisation work together.
Relate the findings to the real world
Knowledge from different fields is needed when Big Data is interpreted. The information must be related to theories about problematic gambling, gambling addiction but also marketing principles, game design and customer support – if it is to have any meaning.
By mapping out the user journeys of your increased risk players, you would know where your responsible gambling efforts seem to have the best effect. For example, maybe there should be a limit on the amount of online scratch-tickets available to some players? Maybe some players shouldn’t be exposed to commercials for high-risk games at all?
It is not only about changing risky gambling behaviour – it is about changing the mind-set of a whole industry
There is an increasing need for institutionalised sustainable innovation within the gambling industry, but despite the many technical innovations developed in the field of responsible gambling, there are limits to what we can expect from any digital technology. After all, there are still real humans behind it. It is not only about using responsible gambling technology; it is about interpretation, cooperation and actions. It is about how you use it.
Can responsibility cut it in the tech world? Let us rephrase the first answer into: yes, if we let it. The determining factor of survival in the long-term depends on how successful we are in handling the issues of responsibility and how well we relate the technology to the real word.