Bild

Lottery’s Place in the Digital Gaming Revolution

Have you seen the 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.

The Power of Technology

When the United States Department of Justice reversed their longstanding position that state governments were prohibited from legalizing and regulating online gambling within their borders, a number of agencies rushed to take advantage.

State lotteries in Illinois and Georgia and casinos in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey are all either offering online wagering or will be by the end of the year.

Regulators and operators in these jurisdictions all pledged their internet products would be safe and secure and would have protections in place to guard against underage play and gambling addiction.

 

Indeed, many go at least a little bit beyond the rudimentary responsible gaming requirements of the existing lottery or terrestrial casino sectors.  For example, every one of the online gaming regulations requires age and ID verification for online gambling, yet lottery tickets in those states are sold in unattended vending machines, and no ID is required to access any of the gaming facilities.

 

However, none of the regulations to date come close to the more stringent European or Canadian standards, or NCPG’s own Internet Responsible Gambling Standards.  

 

It is unfortunate because studies throughout the world find relatively high rates of gambling problems among those who gamble online.   Internet gambling may attract those at risk for addiction, and it may also exacerbate existing problems, given the high speed and frequency of play, perceived anonymity, social isolation, use of credit or non-cash payment methods and 24-hour access.

 

Since online gamblers are known to have problems, it is important to require extensive responsible gaming policies. 

 

These programs provide an opportunity to create informed consumers with access to a variety of information designed to encourage safe choices and discourage unsafe behavior.

 

We call for legislators, regulators and operators to think “outside the box” and embrace the potential of technology to enhance responsible gaming efforts, to improve customer satisfaction, to reduce risk and minimize harm, and to better balance the costs and benefits of legalized online gambling.

 

In some ways, gambling has always driven and been driven by technology.  From the early use of the printing press to manufacture playing cards to the development of mechanical computers to calculate pari-mutuel odds, designers have harnessed their creativity for gambling-related projects.  As the speed of innovation increases and the internet revolutionizes almost every aspect of our lives, we have the opportunity and the obligation to utilize information to design more intelligent responsible gaming programs and more data-driven responsible gaming policies.

Playscan™ – now available to the Chinese market

After conducting lengthy discussions about Playscan with the leading gaming providers in China, Playscan is now ready to expand into this new territory.

Exiting times ahead – Together with Northberry AB in Sweden and FuSheng Interactive in Hong Kong, Playscan will position itself in the Chinese market. With their expertise and experience within high-growth sectors and new technologies in Asia – Playscan can now provide a solution in China that minimizes the harmful effects of gambling. The Playscan solution provides not only an informed choice to the player about their gambling behaviour. It also provides the operator invaluable information to proactively prevent problematic gambling. This enables them both to react and act.

 

“The matter of consumer protection is both being prioritized and highlighted around the world. We can now operate successfully on a global scale with our solution that creates awareness about problematic gambling,” says Andreas Holmström, CEO of Playscan.

 

Andreas continues, “With changes in the gaming regulation this year, the Chinese government is now taking a stronger stance on the prevention of problematic gambling. Therefore Playscan is honoured to be identified as the worlds leader in preventive responsible gambling solutions within this market.”

 

“We are delighted to work with Playscan in China, which is the second largest lottery market in the world. We believe Playscan have great potential in China and FSI will give full support on the development”, says Anders Holmgren Chairman FuSheng Interactive.

Launch of Playscan™ 3.7 – improved analysis engine

Playscan is the proactive consumer protection tool that provides the player with an opportunity to control and monitor changes in their gambling habits. Now, with its Playscan 3.7 version, the channels for communication is even more expanded and targeted: Playscan Retail is included as an add-on solution to the Playscan product.

 

Playscan™ Retail is a solution for all retail and land-based gaming operators. With Playscan™ Retail the benefits of Playscan are not just utilized and available for the online-player. It does now also administer the land-based player with a unique informed player choice. Playscan™ Retail provides the player with a complete overview of their gambling behaviour in print format.

 

Playscan 3.7 has a newly developed analysis engine. The analysis engine is a vital part of the system – it is the hub for analysing all the different Game Modules such as Bingo, Poker, Lottery etc. The new engine optimises the time efficiency of the player analysis – which greatly increases performance and scalability of the player database.

 

– The new features in Playscan 3.7 evolves the technical capabilities in behavioural tracking towards harm minimization, says Henrik Hallberg, CTO of Playscan AB.

playscan_technical_solution

How to be successful with a technical solution

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.

playscan_evalutation

Self-evaluation directs us to prepare our next performance

Playscan is technology, data and behavioural sciences all together in one solution and continuous improvements require systematic evaluation.

 

Therefore, during 2013 we invest heavily in evaluation of the product with two external evaluations:

 

Dr Richard Wood commences the evaluation of the effectiveness of Playscan

Dr Richard Wood, psychologist and director of GamRes Limited (Montreal, Canada),

Dr Richard Wood is with his experience within the field of Responsible Gambling, testing and development of responsible gambling tools evaluating Playscan in terms of overall effectiveness. Dr Richard Wood will be focusing upon the actual observed impacts of Playscan’s unique targeted communications, aimed at promoting and maintaining healthy playing profiles. The study will also examine the player perspective of using the tool to assist their regular playing activities over time. The findings of the study will be presented in the beginning of July, 2013.

 

per_carl

 

Per Carlbring, Professor of Clinical Psychology at Stockholm University

Per Carlbring, has received fundings for an independent evaluation of Playscan. With his expertise within online-based self-help programs he will guide a post-graduate student to carry out a comprehensive study on Playscan for the next four years to come. The study will be divided into five different part-studies.

Magnus Ryding Guest Article for Playscan

What is responsible gambling?

When listening to decision makers and reading reports about the future of gambling politics one hears very nice words. Responsible Gambling is one of them. But what does it actually mean? What is it really, besides nice wordings?

 

Responsible Gambling is about several things. In this short article I shall try to clarify the concept of Responsible Gambling from my perception and experiences.

 

Responsible Gambling is, for example, how the operators market and sell their products. It’s about what kind of helping tools the operators provides and how they expose and market them towards the player. Helping tools are mostly voluntary and aimed for the players to keep track of their gambling, and the ability to test, restrict or disconnect itself from gambling. Responsible Gambling is also about what kind of games the operators choose to provide and market, how these games are designed, the size of repayment etc. It´s about the training and education the operators offer their staff, for example how to warn and inform about the risks associated with gambling and where to turn if a player has a problem.

 

So far, so good.

 

However, the most important issue of gambling is a bit forgotten in the debate. It is about the way in which gambling companies communicates with the player who is showing signs of a problematic gambling behaviour.

 

Actions and communication

How do the gambling companies get the player to reflect upon their own gambling behaviour in an accurate manner – without violating the player’s privacy?

What actions do the gambling companies take when they see a customer suffering from an obvious gambling addiction and where there’s reason to suspect that the player could damage themselves and others by their behaviour?

And what actions do the gambling companies really take when they see a customer, in a desperate manner, loose one million after another?

Should they act in a responsible way? Or should they just sit around and watch, collecting the money and hoping that the player himself will eventually come to understand and find the gambling company’s voluntary responsible gambling tools?

 

The goal of different actions in the name of responsible gambling is to put customers’ well being before maximum profit. It’s also about reducing the excesses of gambling, such as abuse, addiction and crime. But when it comes to this, the attitudes and knowledge varies tremendously between different gambling companies.

 

Many gambling companies do take this very seriously and is working actively on the issue, while many others make a clear distinction: some even argue that it’s not their responsibility. These gambling companies choose to not communicate with their customers. Some companies do not even have the technical means for identifying problem gambling. Moral responsibility does not exist in these companies and they have no problem with living on profitable gamblers.

 

In conclusion, it is time for a new modern gaming regulation and approach. Primarily to embed effective responsible gambling measures in the criteria for authorization and to change licensing and supervision.

 

Magnus Rydeving runs the company Spelnykter, operating in three areas: trainings/lectures on gambling addiction, consultant and adviser in gambling issues and motivational coach (motivational interviewing MI) for people with gambling problems. Magnus himself has a background as a former gambling addict.

Visit his website: www.spelnykter.se

Playscan now available for the offshore gambling sector

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.

 

For more information, contact:

Mark Knighton,

CSO Playscan AB,

Telephone +46-702 32 15 23

Strategic Account Manager

Job description

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.

Key responsibilities:

– 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.

Mike Randall Guest Article for Playscan

No time to rest on your laurels


In the gaming sector, like every other industry, there can be a tendency to abandon commitments to being more socially responsible in the name of growth or progress. As public scrutiny surrounding gaming continues, gaming companies need to continue a commitment to harm minimization perhaps now more than ever. Two ways are through stakeholder engagement and research.

 

As many gaming organizations across the globe have continued to expand their commitments to responsible gambling, we are seeing a lag from global leaders who led the charge a decade ago.

 

In many cases, those lottery and gaming companies who virtually set the standard for responsible gaming measures, have not continued to be innovators and leaders- allowing many other organizations to catch up and become equals in the area of harm minimization and player protection.

 

As well, some organizations that introduced new standards and guidelines to ensure RG is consistently embedded within all operations have let those guidelines and standards slide in the name of sales and profits.

As a proponent of responsible gaming at all levels of gaming, I also understand how easy it is to let your commitment diminish and to rest on your laurels – knowing that you are still a leading organization in the global context.

I would argue however that you’re doing your players, your shareholders, your employees and your brand a disservice.

Like all leaders in any discipline, the challenge to remain cutting edge and innovative is great. And while many groups were either forced through legislation or contractual obligation to become world leaders in RG, the fact is they embraced the challenge and introduced some fantastic measures, protocols and procedures that have significantly contributed to harm minimization around the world.

 

Through stakeholder engagement and research

There are two areas in particular I believe all gaming organizations can spend more time focusing on that will ensure the continued innovative responsible gambling initiatives that foster informed player choice.

 

The first is stakeholder engagement. So much useful, practical and innovative information can come out of an ongoing two-way dialogue with all key stakeholders. This means taking the time to engage these groups on a regular basis and be willing to listen to the good, the bad and the ugly. The real key to engaging stakeholders is to make sure they see themselves and their values within your corporate positioning and approach. This means talking to employees, players, problem gamblers, non-players, shareholders, suppliers and other gaming organizations to really determine how they see you and what they expect from you.

 

Many organizations shy away from true engagement because some of what they hear can be difficult. That’s where the real opportunity lies. Embrace it.

 

Next is the area of research. While recognizing that it is costly, most organizations only pay lip service to research if they engage in it at all. Again, through partnerships with government, universities or responsible gaming organizations and councils, gaming companies can discover so much useful information that can lead to further innovations in the area of harm minimization and player protection. As well, the opportunity to work with companies like Playscan to integrate to technical innovations means that no gaming company has to leave responsibility to chance.

 

Here’s a call to those pioneers in responsible gaming. Problem gamblers still exist. Don’t stop exploring, seeking and leading to way to greater responsibility, transparency and informed player choice. It’s paramount to the industry’s long-term success.

 

Mike Randall is the founding chair of the WLA Independent Assessment Panel and the author of the RG Framework and self-assessment guide. Mike now consults for clients around the globe at Engage Atlantic.

www.engageatlantic.ca

 

Andreas Holmström

Playscan appoints Andreas Holmström as new CEO

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,
Telephone +46-702321523

Dr Richard Wood commences the evaluation of the effectiveness of Playscan

Dr Richard Wood commences the evaluation of the effectiveness of Playscan

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 information, contact

Mark Knighton, CSO Playscan AB

Tel +46 (0)702321523

www.playscan.com

Dr. Richard Wood,

Director, GamRes Limited (Montreal, Canada)

info@gamres.org

Professor Per Carlbring has been assigned to evaluate Playscan

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.

Norsk Tipping launches online games

Norsk Tipping will be launching online games in 2013. As part of the company’s social responsibility, the customers will be offered the Swedish Responsible Gambling system Playscan™ – a solution that strives to create a sustainable and healthy gambling environment for the players.  

 

Norsk Tipping will use Playscan™ on all products, including VLT’s, thus becoming the first gaming company in the world that uses the responsible gambling tool Playscan™ in VLT-machines.

 

–  It’s exciting that Norsk Tipping will use Playscan™ as one of the key solutions in its gaming strategy when they go online. Playscan™ is an excellent solution to educate the online players and create awareness about Responsible Gambling, says Ann-Sofie Olsson, CEO Playscan AB.

 

Playscan™ provides the player an opportunity to control and monitor changes in their gambling habits by using unique targeted communication and in-depth analysis of their actual gambling behaviour. Playscan™ is designed to make players aware of their gambling habits and proactively keep their gambling behaviour healthy.

 

By providing an informed choice early in the gambling experience, the operator also gets an opportunity to create a sustainable relationship with their customers.

Playscan is looking for talents

Playscan is now looking to hire a Software Developer and a Web Developer for its Gothenburg office.

 

WEB DEVELOPER

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 >>>

 

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER

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 >>>

Kombispel launches online games where Playscan is available from day one

When the Swedish lottery Kombispel goes online with bingo, mini-games, scratch tickets and there game “Bonus Chansen” it will be in combination with the consumer protection tool Playscan from day one. The system helps players to understand and control their gambling habits

 

Kombispel will be the first lottery in the world where the players from day one can use Playscan. In earlier versions of Playscan it has been necessary to collect data during six months before Playscan has been able to provide a result for the player.

 

– Internet is the growth market in gambling. Thus it feels good that we now can provide our customers with a wide range of fun and entertaining games in a safe and responsible environment, where Playscan is a natural part of the offer, says Anders Jansson, CEO of Kombispel.

 

In the preparations for the launch, Playscan has always been a natural part of the offer. The players own view of their game, and their actual gambling habits, are taken into account when analyzing how players gambling habits change over time.

 

–  We have strived to be a natural building block of a lottery’s responsible gambling offering online. Thus it is with great pleasure that Kombispel will become the first operator that has Playscan as a part of their offering from day one, says Ann-Sofie Olsson, CEO Playscan AB.