Ladbrokes have been stepping their efforts to help people gamble responsibly. In its most recent move, the betting agency has decided to go it alone and drop its partners to work on a new scheme, allowing the bookie to focus on a self-exclusion scheme that will help problem gamblers ween off or altogether quit.
Australia – Land of the Problem Gamblers
Australia has known its fair share of problem gamblers. A country where adolescents start gambling and children think that sports betting is normal, there is a lot of work to be done, especially insofar as problem gamblers are concerned. A number of the most prominent bookies have already been working on solutions.
Sportsbet, BetEasy, Bet365, and Ladbrokes are among the betting agencies to work with the Responsible Wagering Australia initiative, which aims to introduce more reliable social checks and gambling reforms. The highlight of the scheme is to make it easy and pain-free for individuals to exclude themselves from gambling activities in the event they grow addicted.
More ambitiously still, the scheme will allow gamers who suffer addiction to easily ween themselves off. Affected gamers will be able to ban themselves from any device and the restrictions will be blanket, meaning that even switching between gadgets or changing states wouldn’t help them access their accounts.
Naturally, the initiative is not quite complete with the blanket ban. In order to be efficient, any anti-addiction scheme should target practices that allow vulnerable players to cave in. One such problem are the bonus schemes and the ‘refer a friend’ programs, which allow gamers to bring their friends, too.
More Measures Down the Road
Responsible Wagering Australia is also planning to introduce a ‘voluntary opt-out scheme,’ which allows gamers to adjust their betting limits before they have even placed their first wagers.
Meanwhile, bookmakers themselves can offer quite a few exclusive mechanisms, including a restriction on the amount of time users can spend on the website and an option to track their activities so that a customer care agent could raise a red flag should a player start spending too much money or exhibiting symptoms of addiction.
Ladbrokes Runs Out of Patience
Ladbrokes have been among the champions of a new self-exclusion scheme that will involve the majority of operators. However, the bookmaker has grown irritable and impatient over the numerous delays that have been deferring the roll-out. Ladbrokes have appealed to other companies, including Sportsbet and BetEasy to hurry up and work on the multi-operator scheme.
Meanwhile, back in the United Kingdom, there have been numerous concerns raised over the new self-exclusion scheme there. GamStop, an initiative fighting addiction, has signaled that even though gamers may be excluded from gaming activities, bookmakers continued to send them promotional materials and thus pull them back into their orbit.
While true, this may be just an oversight, which can be fixed by going through the newsletters subscription lists in order to cancel out the subs of players who have identified themselves as problem gamblers or addicts.
Ladbrokes’ impatience, though may in the end turn out to be the undoing of the anti-addiction pact, though.