As part of Safer Gambling Week, Grainne Hurst, Entain’s director of corporate affairs, shares how the operator’s ARC programme takes a technology-led approach to risk reduction
At Entain we are proud to support Safer Gambling Week across our brands, as well as working closely with the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) and the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), to raise as much awareness as possible.
As group director of corporate affairs, safer gambling represents an important part of my role, and it allows me to ensure that safer gambling is closely aligned to our regulatory strategies.
To give a flavour of how Entain supports Safer Gambling Week, outside of raising awareness via our social media platforms, I wanted to outline the work we do internally, looking at our AI, Advanced Responsibility and Care (ARC) programme as well as our external collaborations with organisations who are among the leading experts in tackling gambling related harms.
Our ARC programme takes a technology-led intelligent approach to risk reduction. By using AI technology, ARC is able to operate in real time, and is individually tailored for each customer. ARC combines behavioural indicators, data science and analytics to assess risks, to learn and identify risks in player behaviour and intervene as appropriate. The model is based on 26 markers of harm, for example erratic play in single sessions and signs of players chasing losses. These markers were developed through partnerships with world leading research institutions and consultancies, namely: Cambridge Health Alliance Division on Addiction, at Harvard Medical School, Professor Mark Griffiths of Nottingham Trent University, and EPIC Risk Management.
At the end of October 2023, ARC made 6.1 million interactions in the UK to over 710,000 customers, 121% more than in the same period last year. We believe that technological solutions are the best way to both reducing and preventing gambling related harms.
Beyond ARC, we work closely with EPIC Risk Management, a harm-minimisation consultancy. Last year, EPIC Risk Management delivered tailored training to 915 colleagues who interact with customers, which empowered them to spot the signs of elevated-risk behaviours and provide effective and empathetic customer interactions. EPIC also trained the Entain board and senior leaders globally on the lived experience of problem gambling.
We also support Gordon Moody, a leading charity in treating the most extreme cases of gambling related harm as well as providing support to families and communities affected by gambling related harm. In March this year, Entain agreed to fund the Alumni Project by Gordon Moody which is initially a two-year programme that will establish a network of former problem gamblers, who have been successfully treated by Gordon Moody and now want to support others who may be seeking, or have recently finished, treatment with the charity. The project includes a peer mentor programme that can be offered both before and after treatment takes place.
It may seem obvious, but we do not just dedicate a single week to safer gambling. Safer gambling is something that factors in all of our decisions at Entain, 365 days a year, seven days a week.
Safer Gambling Week is a fantastic initiative that Entain is proud to support and I am already looking forward to next year.
Grainne Hurst is Entain’s director of corporate affairs and reports directly to the company’s executive board. In her role, she is responsible for all of the company’s activities and relationships at the interface with governments and the public sector. She has worked in the gaming industry for seven years, including previous roles as an special advisor to the UK government and in a House of Common MP’s office and agencies. She is a historian and studied at King’s College London and Queen Mary University in London. Grainne Hurst is a board member of the Entain Foundation and Global Gaming Women and is passionate about increasing the number of high-profile women in her industry.