loader image

Problem gambling – nip it in the bud with digital

Share this post:

The growth of sports betting in the US, since 2018 and especially since the end of the pandemic, has accelerated exponentially. There are serious consequences for public health across the nation.

Sports betting is now lawful in 37 States plus DC. With this liberalization has come an increase in gambling addiction. It should not have been a surprise and for many observers it was expected. Europe and Asia have shown what happens when gambling is inadequately regulated, especially when it’s online.

Of course, sports betting via a smartphone is the not the only form of gambling, but it has grown dramatically and represents an area where addiction is high.

Chicken and egg

Given the enthusiasm to gather new tax revenue, most states have allowed sports betting to get established before putting in place sufficient support for problem gamblers.

This is scenario skilfully unpicked by David A Lieb writing online this September in the Wyoming News1. He gives a good summary of how some states are actively directing funds to gambling support, while others are not.

The cross section he provides is illuminating. For example:

  • legal sports betting operators took $220 billion in the five years to 2023, generating $3 billion in taxes
  • in 2022, the state spend on problem gambling services averaged 38 cents per capita – ranging from totals of zero in nine states to $10.6 million in Massachusetts
  • Out of tens of billions of federal dollars spent on substance abuse and treatment (in 2020, $36 billion), nothing is allocated to problem gambling.

Stories from the stable door

Kentucky has tried hard to address the problems. This year a 2.5% sports wagering tax was introduced (projected to generate $575,000 in its first year),  with the intention of addressing gambling addiction. So far so good, but, according to Michael R Stone of the Kentucky Council on Problem Gambling, “We’ve only got five certified gambling counsellors in the state right now…and we’re probably going to need five times that number…”

The will and the intention is good, but it is clear a different strategy is required to get to grips with the problem. But, as well as laws,  the thing that facilitates so much gambling is the smartphone, so why not start there?

Tackle online gambling online

Digital services can bring intervention right back to the point of origin. That is exactly what Compli, from Essiell Compli, (also specialists in anti-money laundering provision) is designed to do. A suite of cloud based services running globally on AWS, Compli provides world-leading online transaction monitoring capabilities. Using our Global Person concept (individual profiles built from multiple databases), it is possible effectively to identify and understand risk-laden behavior.

In this scenario, problem gamblers (real people with real families) can be spotted quickly. Risk to the gambling platform is quickly reduced and the gambler can be directed to the appropriate support.

This works well for an individual company. But when adopted by several collaborating businesses in the same sector – in this instance, gambling platforms – its power is remarkable.

Gambling addicts frequently bet online across several platforms, pay from numerous accounts, and move money around to feed their habit. If all their gambling activity is monitored, continuously and in real time, problems will be spotted much more quickly, even nipped in the bud.

Quite simply, with Compli, everyone benefits.

By Bjorn Larsson, Chairman of Essiell Compli.

If you’d like to find out more about how Essiell Compli and Compli can help identify problem gambling and protect businesses, communities, and families, get in touch via our website , www.essiell-compli.com ,  or by email to enquiries@essiell-compli.com   

Share this post:

Our latest posts