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Technology at the service of betting firms

Simple cellphone technology such as GPS can become a valuable ally for betting companies on their quest to lure customers. Gambling firms could use GPS to bombard customers with offers and other betting-related information, experts have warned. The companies have the opportunity to use location services to link a customer with ongoing events on their area, which may give them betting options in the long-term, or send their clients targeted alerts.

Technology raises the prospect of attendees at a sporting event being sent push notifications, which will be encouraging them to bet on the game they are attending. Charity GambleAware expressed the concern that companies have the ability to collect significant amounts of customer data, including their location. “While some progress is being made to use customer data to identify and minimise gambling-related harm, much more needs to be done to tackle unacceptable marketing and advertising” said the organisation’s CEO, Marc Etches.

Dr. Mark Griffiths, distinguished professor of behavioural addiction and director of the international gaming research unit at Nottingham Trent University had predicted this eleven years ago: “There is no doubt that such a practice exists and is being used. I would always have concerns if the individuals being targeted are known to be vulnerable. Gambling companies often target their “VIP” players, i.e. their heaviest spenders. And some of them are likely to be problem gamblers”.

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