UKGC Chief Praises AI Innovations as Consumer Care Standards Improve

UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) chief Neil McArthur has praised local gaming licensees for a demonstrable improvement in consumer care.

UKGC Neil McArthur

UKGC CEO Neil McArthur is happy with how local gaming operators are focusing on responsible gambling. (Image: UKGC)

Speaking at a gathering of 70 industry CEOs and senior executives, McArthur said noticeable improvements have been made.

Although he stressed the push for greater controls was far from over, he acknowledged that UK gaming operators are moving in the right direction.

AI Improves Responsible Gambling Standards

For the UKGC CEO, the most encourage signs of improvement have come from modern technology.

There has been an encouraging increase in the number of operators investing in and developing algorithms and machine learning to identify customers who may be experiencing harm,” McArthur said on October 2.

In 2018, research and advisory group Technavio produced a report that said artificial intelligence (AI) would drive the industry.

AI is used in the gambling industry to improvise customer service. Advanced bots that are replacing customer service representatives can access and analyse knowledge about a customer’s specific playing habits,” reads the May 2018 report.

Two months after the report, the Kindred Group announced its intention to embrace AI. Working in unison with BetBuddy and London City University, the parent company of Unibet said it wanted to use big data and machine learning to “detect anomalous behaviour.”

In August 2019, ComeOn Casino announced a similar innovation. Although it subsequently exited the UK gaming market, it’s now working on an AI system that will detect and analyse potential signs of problem gambling.

UKGC Not Resting on Its Laurels

Although AI is still an emerging force in the tech world, it’s already helping gaming operators meet the UKGC’s strict regulatory standards.

While pressure to become more socially aware has led to high-profile fines, the latest assessment is that it’s working. In his address, McArthur said more operators are evaluating the effectiveness of their customer care tools and that’s raising standards across the aboard.

However, he also wants industry insiders to continue innovating. Suggesting a “collaborative” approach between operators, tech companies and the government, the UKGC chief believes the UK can remain the safest online gaming market in the world.

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