New software has been developed that mines information from casino loyalty cards in order to identify problem gamblers before they develop a serious problem. The software, created by Canadian Dr. Tony Schellink, will first be implemented in Sky City Casino in Auckland, New Zealand. Hopefully it will become the industry standard for ‘host responsibility’ practices, which denotes the measures casinos take to ensure their players are happy and healthy instead of exploiting problem gambling to increase revenue.
This software has been greatly lauded by problem gambling advocacy groups, with their only criticism being that it hasn’t been implemented sooner. At the moment, host responsibility can only step in once players are in obvious distress: players crying or falling asleep at machines signal to staff that there’s a problem. But this software analyses habits so carefully that it can alert host responsibility staff to the players at risk for developing addictions before the players themselves even realise they’re sliding down the slippery slope to problem gambling.
It’s possible that some casinos aren’t happy to implement the system because it would affect their bottom line: Sky City alone is estimated to have gained $90 million in video-poker revenues from at-risk gamblers. But they have been required to install and use the system as a prerequisite for their licence, and Casino Jones believes that this practice should definitely be the industry standard.
- Casino offers system to track problem gamblers (nzherald.co.nz)
- SkyCity’s problem gambler creation scheme (greenvoices.wordpress.com)