Operators this is your gut-check moment. Ask yourself, how well is my organization doing in responsible gaming? Is what we are doing best practice? How are others approaching this? Could we be more effective or cost-efficient? How can we improve? What new ideas we should be considering? Are we missing anything? Are we committed to harm reduction in the delivery of our gaming products?
Over the past decade we have seen a significant increase in the commitment to harm minimization by lotteries and gaming organizations around the world. Thanks to increased commitment by leading gaming organizations and increased monitoring and regulation in most jurisdictions around the world, the principals of responsible gaming are coming to the forefront as part of any gaming organizations product offering. Proper responsible gaming initiatives are essential to maintaining the public trust and are a cornerstone to the continued success of the gaming industry.
That’s why a software solution like Playscan is so important to gaming organizations in their ongoing commitment to enhance RG programs, minimize harm and continue to distinguish themselves from unregulated gaming operators whose motives may be less altruistic.
What does Playscan do?
For those who don’t know, Playscan is an industry leading software designed to help gaming operators detect unhealthy gambling among their players – and give them a tool that protects them. Playscan’s analytical system makes player aware of the risk of escalation – the change in actual behavior, feelings and thinking.For the last decade, the commitment to harm minimization has been one of the distinguishing factors between the regulated and unregulated gaming operators around the world. However, due to increased public awareness of the importance of harm minimization standards, many of the unregulated operators have also begun to implement so-called RG related elements into their product offering. Once again the lines between regulated and unregulated are being blurred – leaving players unsure of where they can go to be protected.
Understanding gaming behaviors
The foundation for all RG elements in any gaming organization is awareness and understanding. A key to successful RG programming is the ability for any gaming organization to fully understand the gaming behaviors of their players and the potential impact these behaviors have on each individual throughout the life of their playing relationship. The key for regulated operators is to use this information to ensure they take the necessary steps to reduce any potential harm for their players.
This is where Playscan can help regulated operators once again take the leadership position in helping to move the responsible gaming bar even higher.
Playscan provides an overall analysis of the players’ gambling behavior and informs each and every player about their individual status. The Playscan communication aims to raise awareness and seeks afterthought. This motivates not only the player to reflect upon his or her own gambling behavior – but also the gaming operator.
Throughout it’s evolution, Playscan is the only solutions provider that has continued to evolve and adapt its programming as the industry continues to introduce new innovations. And now, Playscan becomes the only RG software solution that has been independently evaluated by a group of RG experts.
Playscan – independently evaluated
Playscan reached out to Dr. Richard Wood, Director of GamRes and Dr. Michael Wohl, Director of the Carleton University Gambling Lab (Canada) for an independent review of several key assumptions regarding the impact and affect Playscan has on the playing habits of users. The 2013 comparative research tracked over 1,500 online players and compared those using Playscan with non-users over the same period. The definitive results are clear, by using Playscan, gaming operators can reduce harm and provide players with the tools to manage their risk behavior.
The independent research highlighted some key facts;
• Playscan users reported feeling significantly better informed about their gambling behavior after using Playscan.
• Playscan users feel more knowledgeable about responsible gambling and harm minimization and will increase their use of the available RG players tools.
• Playscan users show observable changes in their gambling behavior after they receive information from the Playscan system.
• And perhaps most importantly, the research proves that Playscan helps players to maintain a health risk profile for their gambling behavior.
As well, the research provided Playscan with some key recommendations including the implementation of a 6-point risk scale evolving from the traffic light indication previously provided to players. This provides a more granular communication to the player.
Not ones to remain complacent, the Playscan team has already been included this recommendation in the recent release of Playscan 4.
As well, Playscan provides a seamless solution across all platforms including mobile, web and land-based gaming activity, ensuring that players are protected at all entry points into your gaming system. Another key element is the ability to use Playscan for internal RG training and awareness – a key to deliver responsible products and services at all levels of your gaming organization.
With an RG solution like Playscan 4 available to operators around the world, one has to ask why any operator would not consider implementing a system that will provide a validated harm reduction solution that will also help regulated gaming organizations once again differentiate themselves from the unregulated gaming operators – ensuring a continued confidence by players in their gaming choice.
Mike Randall is an independent consultant in the area of Responsible Gaming and Shared-Value. He was the inaugural chair of the Independent Responsible Gaming Panel with the World Lottery Association. He is a regular speaker and contributor to responsible gaming discussions around the world. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Swedish national state-owned lottery Svenska Spel is the first operator that offers the latest version of Playscan to their players. In striving for a healthy gaming market a good gambling experience includes consumer protection. With Playscan 4.1 the players of Svenska Spel now have a world-class tool in their hands.
– Gambling should be a fun activity. The new features presented in the latest version of Playscan makes us confident that gambling stays fun. With Playscan 4.1 we are strengthening our responsible gambling initiatives further and taking new steps towards proactive harm minimization, says Lennart Käll, CEO of Svenska Spel.
New features has been added
With input from gambling addiction support groups and usability research Playscan 4.1 offers, besides the new risk scale, an in-depth-view of the risk analysis. The in-depth detail displays the risk factors that have been found and analyzed in the players gambling data. This design helps the player understand and further reflect on the risks associated with gambling. This design also runs on multiple platforms such as computer, mobile or e-gaming machines.
– The in-depth detail offers the players a mirrored image of their own gambling behavior. A very helpful feature if the player wants to understand more about the causes surrounding his or her risk analysis, says Henrik Hallberg, CTO of Playscan.
Playscan and National Council on Problem Gambling US has entered into a partnership agreement to ensure that players will receive North American specific responsible gambling information directly within the Playscan system.
As gaming operators in the US move forward with launching their online gaming channels, it is vitally important to ensure that the player population is fully informed about the risks associated with gambling.
The partnership with the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) ensures that all players utilising the Playscan system both online and land-based in the USA will find localised information about problematic gambling. The player will have direct access to National Helpline numbers – when needed the most.
The National Council on Problem Gambling is the national advocate for programs and services to assist problem gamblers and their families. The mission of the NCPG is to increase public awareness of pathological gambling, ensure the widespread availability of treatment for problem gamblers and their families, and to encourage research and programs for prevention and education.
The Norwegian national lottery, Norsk Tipping is the first operator to use Playscan on VLT’s as well as on all their old and new online-games. The player can access Playscan through both web and mobile. This takes consumer protection to the next level.
Launching the first VLT module and releasing Playscan in multiple channels, Norsk Tipping is at the forefront of responsible gambling. By using an multichannel personalized electronic ID (their mandatory player’s card), Norsk Tipping is unique in providing player data of all player activities and gives Playscan the perfect foundation to become the hub for all proactive responsible gambling activities.
By providing an informed choice early in the gambling experience, Norsk Tipping gets an opportunity to create a sustainable relationship with their customers. With Playscan they are able to provide players with a risk analysis based on their player behavior.
– Responsible gambling has always been an important issue for Norsk Tipping. We are proud to be the first operator to analyze gaming data via Playscan for our players, says Torbjörn Almlid, CEO of Norsk Tipping.
In addition to the implementation of Playscan there has been a focus on the importance of reaching out to the player and the organization regarding how to communicate and understand the effects and knowledge that you can gain from Playscan. Torbjörn Almlid continues:
– The Playscan team is highly professional, not only regarding the system but has also provided us with great knowledge regarding future communication and education on responsible Gambling.
The next step will be to continue the collaboration and expand the strategy to create a more sustainable and responsible gambling environment for the Norwegian players.
– We are delighted to work with Norsk Tipping, a company that takes responsible gambling extremely seriously. By implementing Playscan and in their vision of the next step for Playscan, they really show their commitment to their player’s wellbeing, says Andreas Holmström, CEO of Playscan AB.
Our product has been evaluated, tested and now also – twisted. We are very proud to announce the latest, the next: Playscan 4
– Playscan 4 is about communication; with players, with operators, with regulators in all channels. We build on years of experience and player feedback to make our information even more accessible, says Andreas Holmström CEO of Playscan.
Playscan has become known for its traffic light analogy when communicating with the players. We changed this into a scale of risk. With a six point scale Playscan is more granular and more precise. This enables the player to understand the gradual changes in their behavior. Playscan is now better framed to visualize the process of escalating gambling risk.
Playscan 4 is also equipped with improved customized (and smarter) recommendations to each player. These are now based on the specific game the player is playing – instead of an overall assessment.
Playscan is now a seamless experience across multiple gaming channels and it’s feature proofed for possible mandatory usage. Another new feature on Playscan 4 is the customization. When looking after your players, your brand should be the focus, not ours. We have made it simple for operators to customize Playscan and make it more adaptable to their specific brand and feel on the gambling site.
– Playscan 4 is an exciting continuation of the Playscan saga. By learning from all of our installations of Playscan 3 and the 100 million analyses performed in the series, we’ve made the good parts better, clarified what needed clarification and added a couple of extremely promising features, says Henrik Hallberg CTO of Playscan.
David Forsström, psychologist from Stockholm, Sweden, will write his PhD dissertation about Playscan.
The project will run for four years, supervised by Professor Per Carlbring – and the Playscan Team are happy that the project now has its beginning.
The study is planned and divided into five different part-studies; ranging from investigating how Playscan is used and by whom, interviewing Playscan users, and performing comparative studies in marketing and content to optimize the reach and effect of the tool.
The overall research questions to answer is: How is Playscan used – how does the tool perform – and what effect does it have on player behaviour?
“It’s exciting to get started with the project” says David Forsström. “I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time, and I am happy that the cooperation with Playscan has started.”
“This will teach us even more about how our tool contributes to the gaming market” says Henrik Hallberg, CTO at Playscan. “Getting this level of attention and rigor is a good continuation of our mission – to build efficient tools for a sustainable gaming market.”
The position is financed by the Svenska Spel research council. Each part-study, when finished, will be published in peer-reviewed journals. The research is independent – the results will stand for themselves. Playscan will not have any influence regarding publishing.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) – is a common word in our industry today. But how do we interpret the words? CSR is about embracing responsibility for the company’s actions and creating shared value for all of your stakeholders. Our vision at Atlantic Lottery is to “Make Atlantic Canada A Better Place” and one of the ways we do that is through our CSR efforts. CSR is at the heart of everything we do at Atlantic Lottery and guides how we make decisions. It is critical that our internal ambassadors – our employees are well informed and well equipped to understand the company’s commitment to CSR and the role they play in it.
We wish to be active in our actions striving towards our CSR vision. Educating Atlantic Lottery employees on the role they play in advancing the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility mandate is core to helping us advance and improve our overall performance and commitment in this area. Therefore our employees have been trained on their CSR responsibilities through an online interactive program – which leads to a CSR Certification.
The program armed us with skills and knowledge on what CSR really is
The program was developed in partnership with the Swedish company Sustainable Interaction – a company that specialize in online training programs, web based self-help programs and diagnostic tools within the fields of social responsibility, addictions and psychosocial health. The program armed us with skills and knowledge to tackle issues ranging from internal initiatives through global topics including trends and best practices.
The idea behind it is based on the assumption that people’s attitudes are best changed if we manage to create empathy and a deep understanding of the situation. We need to change how we perceive a situation in order to incorporate a new behavior when we make sustainable and responsible everyday decisions.
The online program is the first of its kind in the lottery/gaming industry. It combines interactive applications; interactive situations; drama and documentary; interactive interviews and a pre and post evaluation to measure knowledge, attitudes and beliefs regarding CSR. The program was well structured and featured two levels.
The first level was created to facilitate the development of CSR as a core competence for every employees with a focus on creating an in-depth level of awareness of the CSR Program at Atlantic Lottery.
The second level focused on providing employees with a more global view of CSR and included more employee and CSR expert storytelling; more interactive applications and exercises. This created a greater level of engagement with employees.
All employees, from the kitchen staff to senior management, have completed both levels of the program and were awarded a CSR Certificate signed by our CEO, Brent Scrimshaw.
Today, the program is a condition of employment; completion of the program must be within 45 days of hire for new employees. Employees have told us that the content is informative, interactive and the format works for them – in short, a thourough success!
Thank you Kim Wilson for sharing your story on why and how Atlantic Lottery have managed to make responsibility present in everyday decisions. Kim Wilson is not only the Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility at Atlantic Lottery – she is also a member of the WLA Responsible Gaming Working Group. The working group has contributed to the the industry with several productions of responsible gaming guides – and Kim Wilson holds a clear voice when she states that “the gambling industry must operate with a perspective on consumer protection”.
Are you interested in the CSR certification program that ALC and Sustainable Interactions developed? Contact Kim Wilson at or Johan Brandsten at for more information.
Sustainable Interaction offers knowledge and tools that helps people and organizations to learn and progress. Their online training programs are developed through their in-house expertise in the field of psychology, pedagogy, web development and interaction design. Visit their website here.
Have you seenthe photograph of the construction workers having their lunch break sitting on a crossbeam? The famous picture was taken in New York in 1932 and shows a black and white reality: the men are dangling their feet at a height of 256 metres – with no safety harness in sight. This picture is supposed to promote a new skyscraper and the workers seem to enjoy themselves and they look pretty relaxed.
But what happens if one of the workers fell down? Today, safety in the construction industry is set by a strict system of rules – but the picture demonstrates how progress and safety is not always working simultaneously.
As we strive to innovate, produce and shape the future, we tend to forget to prioritise protection and safety. Development sometimes happens so fast that we don’t have time to learn from our past mistakes. But the past, like the picture of the men eating their lunch high up in the sky, tells us to be alert and thoughtful.
In the era of the digital revolution, or evolution as some would say, lotteries have a unique chance to be both alert and thoughtful. With new devices continuously entering the market, technological developments are driving lotteries to expand their services via several channels. And when pursuing these expansion strategies, a foundation of responsibility should lead the way; the operators who offer new forms of lottery games online or via the mobile channel, have a responsibility towards the player. The gambling industry deals with ethical issues and if these issues are not prioritised, the industry will not survive.
When we make decisions in today’s digital era, we are often well informed about our options; indeed, consumer power is an increasing factor that is as apparent in the gambling industry as it in any other consumer-facing sector. To some extent, this is perceived as a threat; a threat to profits due to the increased competition provided by the different alternatives. However, this is a development that we should embrace instead of oppose. Ultimately, if operators offer good consumer protection solutions, they will have a sustainable business as the consumer is more likely to choose the operator who offers them honest value for their time and money.
At some point during their decision making process, consumers will also ask themselves: ‘is this safe?’The player has a need and desire to understand the risks associated with gambling. Indeed, the player who knowingly plays in what they deem to be a healthy and safe environment is more likely to play for longer compared those who don’t. This argument deals with gambling addiction and problematic gambling and, thus, cannot be overlooked. Proactively combating problem gambling can minimise the potential risks, and that must be the common interest.
Most of us understand that we leave traces behind when we surf the net, and most of us are aware that our gambling data is being collected when we gamble. However, having the requisite tools in place is only the first step in providing adequate care for players. Operators need to be able to act on the results of their monitoring solutions, to avoid cases where players can quite rightly question, “why didn’t you help me when you saw my unhealthy behaviour?”
A solid set of responsible gambling tools must be offered to the player, just like the safety harness in the construction industry or the seatbelt in the car. And the responsibility to minimise harm is with those who offer the product, just as in any other business field.
Responsible gambling tools should be a natural and fundamental element within the overall gambling experience, and it should be offered at the right place at the right time; that is, fully accessible and not hidden away in a corner of the website. A player must have immediate access so that they can use it whenever they feel they need it.
If we look back at the picture from 1932, we can observe the changes and development that have taken place between then and now. We know that the construction workers needed new safety equipment when building larger scale buildings, and this is exactly what lotteries are facing when they move their games and players online. The players need the tools to be able to play in a responsible manner and that’s an essential guideline for new technical innovations. In this field, where the consequences can be significant, progress and safety must work together.
Playscan is a technical solution that wants to communicate with players about their gambling behaviour, and when putting it in front of a player at a gaming site – we know it works.
Nevertheless, technical solutions are what they say they are. They are technical. The word solution, however, embraces something else. Solutions are constructed and created by humans, usually to fill some kind of purpose – in our case: to decrease problematic gambling. When we then offer Playscan to operators we leave them with quite of a challenge.
Even though we know that the communication within Playscan is good, the operators needs to familiarise Playscan to their own system, to their own employees and to their own players. It needs to be introduced, explained and most of all exposed to the players. In this process Playscan constantly asks the same question to the operator.
“What are your goals and objectives with Playscan and who are you doing it for?”
The communication scientist Karl E. Weick says that “pure data is flawed and incomplete; it contains only what can be collected and processed through machines”. This means that the social context in which Playscan is offered is of great importance to the tool – if it’s given value by the operators then Playscan makes sense both to the players and the operators.
A sensemaking process ends up with frames of knowledge and understandings. If the operator answers the questions above thoughtfully they’ll raise the bar within the field of responsible gambling. When this is done Playscan is not just a technical solution – it is a consumer protection solution.
The operators needs to be active in marketing and communicate Playscan towards the player in order to be successful with the tool – and the Playscan team offers knowledge on how it can be done.
With Consumer Protection and Responsible Gambling high on the regulatory, media and operator agenda this year, Playscan is able to provide Offshore Operators and System Suppliers a proactive technical solution towards harm minimization. Up until now the consumer protection solution Playscan has been exclusively sold to WLA (World Lottery Association) and EL (The European Lotteries) member state lotteries. Playscan AB is now presenting the Responsible Gambling solution deeper into the industry by educating gambling regulators on the technology and proactive benefits behind player tracking.
Mark Knighton, CSO of Playscan AB says: “With numerous regulatory changes taking place in the global gambling market, Playscan AB has now commenced in-depth discussions with a number of leading global gaming companies and gaming platform suppliers with the sole intention of deploying Playscan.”
Mark Knighton continues “Playscan provides the player with unique targeted communication, ensuring that a higher level of informed choice is offered to the player about their actual gambling behaviour.” Playscan also provides invaluable information to assist the operators, in their own Corporate Social Responsibility and Responsible Gambling strategies to be able to raise the bar towards Harm Minimization.
The Strategic Account Manager is responsible for achieving assigned strategic account objectives. This person represents the entire range of company products and services to assigned customers, while leading the customer account planning cycle and ensuring assigned customers’ needs and expectations are met by the company.
– Establish productive, professional relationships with key personnel in assigned customer accounts
– Proactively develop mutual performance objectives, company targets, and critical milestones
– Generate product awareness and present new product line-ups to current and potential new accounts
– Represent Playscan at global industry events
– Meet assigned expectations for development of assigned accounts
– Maintain high customer satisfaction ratings that meet company standards and ethics
The Strategic Account Manager reports directly to the Chief Sales Officer based in Gothenburg, Sweden.
We are looking for:
– Minimum five years of strategic sales, customer, account management experience in B2B sales environment
– Experience in creating and presenting sales/marketing presentations
– Working knowledge of CRM, PR and Newsletter systems preferred
– Previous technical or software sales background favoured
– Swedish and English language (verbal, written, reading) at business level, French speaking an advantage
– Working knowledge of MAC Office (Keynote, Pages, Numbers), Microsoft Office (PowerPoint, Word, Excel), and Adobe (Illustrator, Photoshop)
If you believe your qualifications match our requirements, please send your english CV via our website. Your application will be dealt with by Craig Schlebusch.
Andreas Holmström replaces Ann-Sofie Olsson in the role as CEO of Playscan AB.
Andreas has untill now been active within Playscan AB as the COO and is one of the original creators of Playscan™.
– I am very happy that Andreas is taking the lead as the new CEO of Playscan AB. As the new CEO he brings competence, stability and solid knowledge about the company and its challenges, says Lennart Käll, chairman of Playscan AB.
Andreas has extensive experience and knowledge from the gambling industry, having strived to enable responsible gaming operators to raise the bar, and take their business to the next level to reduce problematic gambling. Andreas fully believes that sustainable growth is the future of this industry.
– I am very passionate about Playscan™ and leading the company into the next phase of evidence based preventive Responsible Gambling, says Andreas Holmström.
Playscan™ is the pioneer in offering players a way to keep track of their gambling behaviour, both in terms of their own perceptions of gambling, and by analysis based on their actual gaming data.
With it ́s unique targeted communication, informed player choice, player and operator education, Playscan™ offers a software solution that is designed for the operator to raise the bar within proactive consumer protection.
For more information, contact: Mark Knighton,
CSO Playscan AB,
The New Year brings new understandings about responsible gambling and how to minimise problematic gambling behavior. Dr Richard Wood, psychologist and director of GamRes Limited (Montreal, Canada), is now evaluating the Responsible Gambling System – Playscan™. With it´s unique targeted communication Playscan™ was developed for the players to raise awareness about their own gambling behavior. Playscan™ is a proactive system that strives to create a sustainable and healthy gambling environment.
With extensive experience within the field of Responsible Gambling, testing and development of responsible gambling tools, Dr Richard Wood will evaluate Playscan™ in terms of overall effectiveness as a Responsible Gambling tool. This will be achieved by focusing upon on the actual observed impacts of Playscan’s™ unique targeted communications, aimed at promoting and maintaining healthy playing profiles. The study will also examine, the all-important player perspective of using the tool to assist their regular playing activities over time.
– Such an evaluation should provide a scientific perspective on the importance of Playscan™ as a behavioural tracking and player feedback as a tool for Responsible Gambling. As the gaming industry expands its online presence, it´s important to also provide more effective consumer protection solutions and, as such, the effectiveness of Playscan™ will be most interesting to examine, says Dr Richard Wood.
– This evaluation will reinforce and deepen our knowledge about how Playscan™ works in actual daily use. We are looking forward to read the findings of the evaluation when completed, in the beginning of July 2013, says Ann-Sofie Olsson, CEO at Playscan.
Playscan™ was the pioneer, worldwide, in offering players a way to keep track of their gambling behaviour, both in terms of their own perceptions of gambling, and by analysis based on their actual gaming data.
For more than 5 years Playscan AB has been actively providing Responsible Gambling solutions. Professor of Clinical Psychology at Stockholm University, Per Carlbring, with his extensive expertise within online-based self-help programs, has received funding for an independent evaluation of Playscan™.
– Playscan is a very interesting tool and we need to evaluate and analyze the true value of Playscan™ as a proactive Responsible Gambling Solution. We need to find out if and in what way it works, says Carlbring.
Per Carlbring states that it is vitally important to evaluate the effectiveness of Responsible Gambling solutions to understand the social gains and impact it might have. We need to deepen, Carlbring continues, our knowledge and methods about how to reduce the negative effects of gambling.
The Playscan CEO Ann-Sofie Olsson welcomes the evaluation and thinks that we all gain valuable information through new scientific research on how to prevent unhealthy gambling behavior. She says:
– We do recognize the importance of an independent evaluation to diagnose the reliability of what we do and understand after our 5 years in this field.
Playscan is now looking to hire a Software Developer and a Web Developer for its Gothenburg office.
A great interest in product development, with a main focus on GUI and end-user communication, as well as project management. Technical requirements; Web/ Mobile development, a thorough knowledge of Unix/Linux and Git. You have a Master of Science degree, preferably in CS, IT. Read more/apply >>>
A thorough understanding of program- ming in a Linux environment is required. Other mandatory technical requirements are; python programming, BASH/Shell-script (awk, sed, coreutils, etc.), MySQL and Git. You have a Master of Science degree, preferably in CS, Math or Physics. Read more/apply >>>