Gambling Self Exclusion

Facial recognition technology and self-exclusion: a new weapon in the fight against gambling addiction

The gambling industry has reached a tipping point in how it deals with the issue of problem gamblers. The recent publication of strategies by the Gambling Commission and GambleAware have heightened the need for gaming operators to improve their processes to better protect customers. With the latest statistics showing 430,000 problem gamblers in the UK, and a further 2 million people identified as being ‘at risk’, consumer safety is a hot topic. One protection scheme that has met with mixed success is self-exclusion, which enables those with an addiction to effectively ban themselves from gambling.

Operators in the betting, arcade, bingo and casino sectors are required by law to offer a self-exclusion scheme to all customers. The problem is, while it sounds great on paper, any agreement to prohibit yourself from gambling isn’t going to work if it’s undermined by an unreliable system. While the current online self-exclusion scheme has its own shortcomings, it’s the on-premises system that has proved to be particularly problematic.

The drawbacks of the current self-exclusion process

For on-premises gambling, a self-exclusion contract can apply to a single location but more commonly applies to multiple locations via the Multi Operator Self Exclusion Scheme (MOSES). In a nutshell, the person with the addiction signs an agreement not to gamble and the operator closes their account, takes the person off the marketing list and agrees to take reasonable steps to prevent the person from gambling on their premises.

Sounds simple? Well, perhaps not. The current framework has two major drawbacks.

  1. Without an automated system in place, operators are essentially reliant on fallible processes, like keen-eyed employees recognising Joe Bloggs from his passport photo. It’s a risky strategy in light of the significant financial penalties operators could face from the Gambling Commission if they’re found to have failed to protect the self-excluder.
  2. The nature of gambling dependence means that temptation is always around the corner, making those initial promises hard to keep. For a gambler struggling with addiction problems, breaching the contract is relatively easy, so it’s a system that can’t reliably protect them from harm.

With recent investigations into the current self-exclusion scheme highlighting its fundamental flaws and the Gambling Commission’s latest strategy requiring operators to build on existing protections, the smarter gaming companies are looking to technology for more effective, cohesive solutions.

Making self-exclusion work – the benefits of facial recognition technology

Operators who take their commitment to responsible gambling seriously need a cost-effective remedy that removes the elements of human error and gambler deception.

That’s where a fully-automated biometric system comes into its own. Already proving highly effective in the commercial hospitality sector, the QikDETEKT facial recognition system is a natural fit in resolving the current inadequacies of the self-exclusion process, offering:

  • Fast, easy enrolment for the self-excluding gambler via a photo taken on their phone, computer or tablet.
  • Highly accurate, instant recognition of a self-excluded individual as soon as they set foot through the door of a licensed premises.
  • Real time notification to employees that the self-excluded individual is on the premises.
  • Reliable, low-maintenance identity management that protects both consumer and operator.

With the placement of a few discreet cameras and the straightforward installation of our easily integrated system, you’re up and running.

QikDETEKT – Making gambling safer

Having the robust QikDETEKT biometric system in place enables conscientious operators to take the guess work out of self-exclusion and create a system that’s truly fit for purpose. As well as improving the process itself, QikDETEKT also gives brands the opportunity to demonstrate a strong commitment to protecting the welfare of customers – an important consideration at a time when the image of gambling operators and the issue of gaming safety and are under such close scrutiny.

To find out more about how the QikDETEKT facial recognition system could help you improve the self-exclusion process within your organisation, get in touch.