With consumer habits shifting during the pandemic, betting operators were forced to adapt their approach to affordability and social responsibility. 

However, as something of a return to normality looms and consumer habits are once again evolving, the UK market stands on the cusp of a new era for its approach to social responsibility and the way it safeguards players. 

The opening panel of the Payment Expert Forum at Betting on Sports Europe analysed how the UK can retain stringent affordability checks, whilst also maintaining a focus on the player journey, as well as looking back on some of the key lessons learnt during a difficult climate during the pandemic. 

Charles Cohen, Founder at Dept of Trust, underlined that the challenge that awaits the industry is exponential if it isn’t addressed, nonetheless adding that he holds no fear for the sector with it having all the right tools to go through a necessary evolution in practices. 

Eduards Jakubovs, Head of Safer Gambling at Betsson Group, agreed with Cohen that the industry really has no alternative but to embrace new tech as it seeks a safer and more sustainable future when it comes to affordability. 

He added that the issues that were magnified during the pandemic aren’t going to fade away, with an added importance of data and the impactful utilisation of data being vital to affordability. 

Jakubovs also detailed his belief that it is probably going to be the industry to provide definitions of affordability, rather than the regulators, emphasising that it is a matter of collaboration, as he underlined the importance of coming together to ensure affordability. 

Scott McGregor, COO & Co Founder at BeBettor, highlighted the challenge without clear definitions, however, he added that this is tricky when it comes to this as each operators’ client base is different. 

In terms of a single customer view, he emphasised that it’s difficult as it means different things from different perspectives – adding that there is resistance when it comes to this approach in the modern era. 

A new era for customer affordability