UK National Lottery operator Camelot has begun working with data analytics specialist Featurespace to enhance its existing processes for identifying and protecting online players from developing problem gambling habits.

The two companies have been collaborating on in-depth research and analysis over the past two years to better understand online player behaviour patterns using historic datasets, and will now begin a six-month live trial of these analytics.

They aim to offer National Lottery customers a higher level of protection by recognising patterns of potentially harmful play, and delivering targeted responsible gambling messaging to those considered at-risk.

Camelot claims to be the first lottery operator to use Featurespace’s predictive analytics solution to support its online players.

Camelot says that it is already internationally recognised for its player protection controls, with the lottery ranked 51st in terms of per capita spend worldwide, despite being the sixth-largest in terms of sales.

The operator is looking to maximise returns to National Lottery causes by selling tickets in a socially responsible way, with its success in raising more than £34m a week for such projects underpinned by a strategy of encouraging people to gamble a little while keeping their behaviour manageable and fun.

“Although instances of harmful play on The National Lottery are extremely rare, we are wholeheartedly committed to continuously improving the help and protection we offer our players,” Camelot head of corporate responsibility Alison Gardner said.

“We want to continue to ensure that they have fun, while helping them to stay in control of their playing habits,” she explained. “We’re very proud to be delivering this innovative project with Featurespace.”

Featurespace co-founder David Excell said he admired Camelot’s commitment to remaining at the forefront of player protection.

“We are also proud to announce our pioneering work conducted over the past two years which shows that technology exists to personalise decisions at an individual level," he said.

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