As leaders in the online gaming industry, Playtech takes its responsibilities to players, operators and regulators seriously, and a major part of this is a focus on responsible gaming. While as a software provider we are not directly in contact with players, responsible gaming remains a fundamental issue for us in safeguarding our business and reputation, and for the continued development of the industry. As a result, responsible gaming is an integral part of our mindset, and a key driving force behind all of our activities.
Playtech's fully-integrated management system provides a complete and comprehensive solution with embedded systems and controls to ensure fair play. The combination of advanced responsible gaming tools and sophisticated player tracking across all products and platforms, gives operators the means through which to control and prevent issues such as compulsive usage and underage access of our gaming products. The Group has contributed financially to the work of the Great Foundation, a UK charity dedicated to supporting research into problem gambling, education and training.
As a responsible supplier to the regulated gaming industry, we ensure our systems comply with all the guidelines published by the variety of well-regulated jurisdictions in which our licensees operate. We partner with regulatory and governmental bodies, and all our products undergo comprehensive testing by independent 3rd parties. We are an active member in the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) that has developed an industry code of practice on social responsibility and age verification to which we adhere.
As part of the certification process, our games and their software engines - including the random number generators - are regularly tested and certified by leading industry bodies to ensure consistency and fair play. The Group holds certificates of evaluation from the accredited testing facility TST. TST is now part of Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) the largest independent gaming testing and certification laboratory. Playtech also holds an official Certificate of Prior Approval from the Alderney Gaming Control Commission (AGCC). In regulated markets such as France and Italy, our software has been reviewed and passed for use by the local regulators.
Our transparency toolkit is an embedded part of Playtech's software and includes viewable player protection content, self exclusion tools, compulsive gamblers' interface, a time-out mechanism and age verification tools. We provide comprehensive training and ongoing operator support to our licensees to ensure that they are able to manage the responsible gaming tools to the best of their abilities.
As an integral part of the technology platform, Playtech has developed a sophisticated monitoring capability to identify and protect from fraud and money laundering. It is supported by a dedicated security team focused on ensuring the business and infrastructure is at the forefront of industry best practice. Comprehensive monitoring of transactions and gaming behaviour also helps ensure players cannot gain an advantage through unfair means. This is a particular focus in P2P games such as poker to minimize any risk of player collusion.
Playtech recognises that while most people gamble for entertainment, a small number of people can become obsessed with playing games of chance. Therefore we provide responsible gaming resources through the gaming client. By providing links in the game client the operator can direct the player to a huge range of responsible gaming resources, including self-evaluation surveys. Operators can monitor player activity and identify patterns of behaviour indicating those potentially at risk.
Playtech requires every new player to confirm that they are of legal age to play online games in their local jurisdiction. To ensure this, our system performs rigorous player credentials verification with the use of a 3rd party age verification system.
Playtech's software provides a range of bet or stake limits which can be set and controlled by the player. These limits can be set daily, weekly, monthly and for the current session. Playtech also enables the ability to provide reminders to players about their active limits; what the limits are and how much has been used so far.
Players can choose to limit themselves to a predefined deposit amount per period which cannot be passed.
Players can place a variety of limits on the amount that they can wager. Single bet limits restrict the amount that can be placed on any one bet, or players can determine a total bet limit for a set period of time. The poker stake limit tools enable players to define which tables they can access, in terms of fixed limit, pot limit and no limit games.
A range of time management tools enable players to limit the duration of game play, with a timer and alert once the limit has been reached.
Playtech's self-exclusion tools mean that upon request, an account will remain closed for a specified period of time, ranging from one day to 12 months, and will not be reactivated under any circumstances during the exclusion period. During that time the player will not receive any promotional communication. The ‘exclude now' button allows an immediate cool-off period, with one click on an icon on the game screen.
In May 2010 Playtech was awarded the contract to provide the online gaming technology for the Finnish slot machine monopoly, Raha-automaattiyhdistys (RAY). RAY (www.ray.fi) has a 70 year history of providing land-based gaming in Finland within a highly controlled and regulated environment incorporating a range of features to promote responsible gaming. As the state-owned-monopoly, RAY has a strong focus on social responsibility, and all profits go to health and social welfare programmes including gaming support. Its reputation for ethical and responsible operations is very high and regularly monitored through national surveys.
RAY's key criteria for an online gaming partner were the requirements for systems which would integrate with RAY's existing gaming controls and would maintain their high standards for responsible gaming. Playtech was able to demonstrate that its platform and software development could provide RAY with the highest levels of control and functionality needed to maintain this capability across its online as well as existing land-based formats.