888 refers to the announcement issued by the United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission (the “UKGC”) which marks the conclusion to the Licence Review process by the UKGC first announced on 15 May 2017.
888 has fully cooperated with the UKGC throughout this process and has concluded a voluntary regulatory settlement with the UKGC. 888 regrets the historic failings highlighted by the review and accepts the conclusion of the review which recognises the significant lengths that 888 has gone to in order to address the concerns raised and prevent the issues highlighted from reoccurring.
Changes and improvements
888 has always been focused on providing a safe and fair online gaming entertainment for our customers. The UKGC’s review highlighted some areas for improvement in 888’s tools and processes and we have swiftly taken action to address these issues.
888 operates two separate gaming technology platforms: one that hosts 888’s casino, sport and poker brands and a separate one that hosts 888’s bingo brands as well as a number of third party bingo brands. For a period of time, in some instances, a technical failure prevented customers who had requested to be self-excluded on one platform from being successfully excluded from both platforms. 888 alerted the UKGC about this technical failure and took the relevant customer actions.
It was never 888’s intention to benefit financially from this technical failure and we have completed a detailed process to identify all affected customers. The Group is refunding customers who were able to continue playing when they should have been excluded across 888’s platforms.
Over recent months 888’s senior management team have devoted significant resources to assessing and delivering improvements to 888’s responsible gaming tools, processes and technology. This effort is near completion as we move to optimise our new tools. We have worked closely with the UKGC and – aided by the fact that we develop and own our gaming technology – have been able to quickly and effectively make meaningful improvements to customers.
These improvements include:
– Expanding and enhancing the algorithms that 888 uses to analyse playing patterns so as to help identify players who might be, or might become, vulnerable to problem gambling. As a result, we can observe broader trends in customer behaviour and better identify potentially vulnerable players thereby enabling 888’s trained team to interact earlier with customers who may need our help and support;
– Lowering the thresholds across certain metrics tracked by our system that, when triggered, will lead to earlier customer interaction and the offer of support from a trained member of the 888 team;
– Improving our technology to significantly enhance our ability to identify customers who operate multiple accounts across 888’s platforms, thereby ensuring we can more effectively self-exclude customers who may have chosen to open multiple accounts; and
– Enhancing our checks on customers’ sources of funds to ensure that the deposits our customers make are legitimate.
Also coming out of the review process, we are training our team to help them identify and interact better with vulnerable or potentially vulnerable customers.
Values and ongoing commitment
We are constantly developing new and innovative ways to deliver a responsible gaming environment. Our goal is to ensure that all those who visit our sites can do so with confidence and that those for whom our games are not intended, notably underage individuals and those vulnerable to addiction, will not be drawn into the gaming environment and those few customers who develop a gambling problem are quickly identified and helped.
888 is absolutely committed to a proactive policy of corporate and social responsibility that reflects the high professional and ethical standards we set for ourselves across the business. Conducting business responsibly is fundamental to the future success of 888 and we understand that a responsible approach is both the correct way to do business and one that enhances credibility with all stakeholders, thereby supporting 888’s development. We will continue to focus on improvement in the area of responsible gaming to ensure we offer the most enjoyable and safest customer experience possible.
The review process has pushed 888 to enhance its responsible gambling technology and policies and leaves it well placed to continue to succeed in an environment where it will engage with customers in a way that those customers and regulators will demand going forward.