Playtech to Provide BetBuddy for OLG

A global leader in gambling technology is partnering with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) to provide data analytics technology for internet gaming. That company is Playtech, and its analytics platform is called BetBuddy.

The two entities have been working together in a variety of capacities since 2014. This is the first contract of its kind, though, and was just finalised last week.

The deal is said to focus on responsible gambling and will enable OLG to use the information gathered to better protect online gaming customers and raise the overall standards for responsible gaming.

BetBuddy for OLG

The agreement between Playtech and OLG consists of the BetBuddy service to provide gambling data analytics technology for OLG’s internet gaming platform.

The two companies already have an agreement for gaming. This therefore builds on that relationship to support responsible gambling initiatives in Ontario.

Through the use of BetBuddy, which is fully integrated into Playtech’s IMS (information management system) player management platform, OLG will be able to better assess risks of players, interact with Engagement 360 tools, and encourage safer gambling by customising the process for each player.

Playtech COO Shimon Akad noted: “Our partnership, including the use of BetBuddy, will help keep OLG at the forefront of the industry when it comes to promoting safer play.”

Akad also said OLG will be in a position to raise safer gambling and consumer protection standards for the whole industry.

What is BetBuddy?

BetBuddy software allows companies to improve their responsible gaming initiatives.

Since 2012, BetBuddy had worked within the online gaming industry to implement its responsible gambling solutions. Those communities included scientific and gaming communities, as well as the clinical and regulatory side of the industry.

Five years of working with the industry enabled BetBuddy to establish a solid track record of behavioural identification and modifications.

Basically, the platform uses data mining and predictive analytics in combination with the latest research into responsible gambling practices. It looks for patterns in players’ activities and provides alerts for gambling operators to  intervene in a personalised way. Such communications allow the operator and player to use player protection tools available through BetBuddy features to curb problematic gaming practices or address issues that may otherwise go unnoticed.

This helps address problem gambling when in its initial stages rather then when it becomes a serious problem or addiction. The point is to identify issues before they become problems.

Overall, the BetBuddy system allows operators to see an overall data analysis of its players. This includes from high-risk to moderate-risk to low-risk players, as well as the number of self-exclusions. It tracks active and lapsed players, too, putting all into charts and graphs. This then allow executives to analyse the information and make better decisions.

In October 2017, Playtech acquired BetBuddy. It became an integral part of Playtech’s omni-channel products and offered its availability to all Playtech partners.

OLG and Responsible Gambling

The Ontario government-run agency of OLG has long put responsible gaming practices at the top of its priority list.

PlaySmart is OLG’s responsible gambling arm. Its mission is to “educate you about gambling so you can make informed choices about the games you love to play.”

The website is full of facts, resources, and advice about gambling. Not only does PlaySmart focus on keeping gambling fun and entertaining, it helps players learn about odds, house edges, and strategies.

Beyond a quiz to determine one’s susceptibility to gambling addiction and to help players know when to stop gambling, the resources provided are extensive. They established PlaySmart Centres across Ontario, including at slot halls, casinos, and even charitable bingo sites. Staff is available in person, online, or via the telephone to answer questions and provide support when necessary.

The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) and OLG operate all this in conjunction. The program has subsequently received worldwide recognition. In 2018, World Lottery Association awarded OLG with the Best Overall Responsible Gambling Program award. And it became the only organisation to win it twice. (The first win came in 2014.)

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell has been writing about poker and gambling since 2004. As the online gaming sectors have changed and grown, particularly in the United States and Canada, she has followed it all and written about it for websites like World Poker Tour and PokerScout. In her free time, she runs a small business, reads, cooks, and enjoys music.

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