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Kindred Group stands firm by its commitment to achieve zero revenue from harmful gambling, but has admitted the journey is longer and more challenging than initially expected. 

In Q4 2022, Kindred’s share of revenue from harmful gambling decreased to 3.3% from 3.8% in Q3.

This is a positive deviation from the trend, as the last quarter of the year generally sees an increase in high-risk gambling due to the holiday season, according to the operator.

In February 2021, Kindred committed to its ambition to reach zero revenue from harmful gambling by the end of 2023.

“While improvements continue to be made, the journey is longer and more challenging than first expected,” Kindred said.

By comparison, the share of revenue from harmful gambling was 4% in Q4 of last year.

The operator said the decrease was due to an improved approach towards the younger demographic, reducing harmful gambling and improving existing interventions, resulting in fewer faulty customer detections.

In Q4, 82.1% of detected customers saw improved gambling behaviour after contact was made by Kindred’s responsible gambling team.

No quick solution

Kindred CEO Henrik Tjärnström commented: “I’m glad to see that the share of revenue from harmful gambling is once again on a downward trajectory.

“However, as we review the trend over these past two years, it is clear that there is still significant fluctuation and that the curve has not been as steadily declining as we hoped.”

He added that although the operator has put in a lot of hard work, it did not see the development needed to deliver on its 2023 ambition.

Kindred CEO Henrik Tjärnström: “We have known from the beginning that we would not solve this overnight and continue to acknowledge the complexity of the task.”

Last year, the validity of Kindred’s objective to eliminate revenue from harmful gambling was challenged by Betsson CEO Jesper Svensson.

He pointed out that studies have shown that roughly 2% of the population in most countries have a gambling addiction, thus rendering a target of zero percent unrealistic.

Tjärnström said: “We have known from the beginning that we would not solve this overnight and continue to acknowledge the complexity of the task.

“That being said, we are very happy that we set an ambitious goal, as it has served as a catalyst for our development and prompted us to pick up the pace”, he added.

Tjärnström also highlighted that Kindred’s ambition has inspired other companies to become more transparent on this topic.

In autumn 2022 Kindred, Svenska Spel and horse betting operator ATG all agreed to publish key metrics on their work in responsible gambling every six months to the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA).

All three companies publicly disclosed joint responsible gambling data in January 2023.

Expert panel

To support its ambition, Kindred has formed the journey towards zero panel – a pilot project being driven by its team in the United Kingdom.

The panel is made up of a diverse range of expert organisations. Initial members include BetKnowMore, DealMeOut and EPIC Risk Management.

Kindred’s former head of responsible gambling, Maris Catania, also joined the panel as Kindred’s adviser on responsible gambling.

The panel aims to serve as a platform for discussions and recommendations on how to improve progress towards zero.

“EPIC have been working with Kindred for some years now and recently extended that partnership to provide expert insight and consultation to help their journey towards zero,” said Daniel Spencer, director of safer gambling at EPIC Risk Management.

“We want operators to be ambitious in their safer gambling endeavours and encourage collaboration across the industry to achieve this.”

In its first iteration, the panel will host a number of focus groups and workshops with panellists to hear their views on how best to reach Kindred’s ambition.

Moreover, the panel will also assess Kindred’s Player Safety Early Detection System, the operator’s in-house detection system that flags players who may be at risk of gambling related harm, to understand areas for improvement and further collaboration.

Update 24 July, 2023: According to a correction published by Kindred Group, some of the data in this article was inaccurate at the time of publication. The rate of revenue from high-risk players in Q2 2022 was found to be 3.5%, not 3.3%. The original content of this article remains unchanged.

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