An Interview with the ‘Hottest’ Woman in Responsible Gambling
A glorious good morning to one and all, today we have a very special post lined up that truly inspires and raises expectations to what can be achieved in the future of the gambling industry.
Lauren Devine Monaghan has kindly spared some time from her very busy schedule as Mr Green’s Head of Responsible Gambling to give us an insight into what started her passion, and the future of responsible gambling within our industry.
Lauren has now been with Mr Green for two years and in this time, she has helped the company to grow and to incorporate responsible gambling right into the ethos of the brand. Mr Green isn’t the only gentleman this woman is wowing as she was also recently named in Gaming Intelligence’s GI Hot 50 2018 alongside Jesper Karrbrink, CEO of Mr Green;
“While Devine Monaghan has joined an operator with a sympathetic attitude towards responsible gaming, she has ushered it into a leadership position with the Green Gaming tool that offers players a deeper insight into their gambling behaviour than has ever been seen before”
Gaming Intelligence, 2018
From the moment Lauren sat down to speak with me, I knew I was in for a fun and relaxed conversation. Her demeanour is sweet and chipper and every word during the interview is effortless, her words come from an in-built passion but with an heir of humility. It is easy to see why this woman is not only a formidable force when it comes to responsible gambling but also viewed as a motherly figure throughout Mr Green.
Good morning Lauren, thank you for speaking with us today, I wanted to start off by congratulating you on your aforementioned success within Gaming Intelligence and begin by asking how your responsible gambling journey brought you to the gentleman in green?
Thank you very much, I have been working in responsible gambling for 5 years now, the last 2 of which with Mr Green. I am quite picky when it comes to choosing a company to work for. Mr Green has always been known for their responsibility, even before the push from the regulator side of the industry and this was very important for me.
They caught my attention, in discussions they were very open about their want to be the best and to be at the forefront of responsible gambling and I was all up for that! To be innovative and passionate is still quite rare and there are only a handful of companies taking the step forward into responsible gambling as a positive rather than a negative.
Why responsible gambling? Have you always had a passion for it, or is it something that developed once you had the role?
I fell into the gambling industry and began in customer support for around 8 months. I was taking contacts in regard to people who developed gambling issues and so my passion was to do more. I worked alongside our anti-money laundering division and so when a responsible gambling team was being created for the first time, I grabbed the opportunity.
It is such an interesting area but at the time there was very little being done except in the academic world. It was the beginning of the push in terms of the UKGC and the regulations we know today. The whole area was really moving forward when I joined and the more I spoke to customers the more the passion grew.
What are your proudest accomplishments during your career in responsible gambling?
Wow, that is a difficult one. It comes down to getting Mr Green’s Green Gaming tool out there, this is the absolute first tool of its kind that takes into account not only customer perception of their own issue but incorporates that with real time player data. It has really pushed the company into the forefront and getting the awards on the back of that has been absolutely brilliant.
The other side of it is actually hearing from the customer, we usually do not get the feedback directly from a player but every now and then, it may be a few years later, someone will come and say thank you for changing their lives. This is the best feeling, it is all well and good reaching for the stars but, for me, necessary to keep the core route back to those players who are negatively affected by this stuff.
How do you feel Mr Green weighs up in terms of industry standards when it comes to responsible gambling?
When it comes to the responsible gambling side, there are lots of companies doing many things, but in terms of a predictive tool we are absolutely leading the way. Kindred will always be our competition, they do a lot of good things and academic research. However, we are up there with them now, the development over 2 years has been exceptional and now Mr green is a real player in responsible gambling.
The wonderful thing about this competition though is that it keeps us striving to do better. To now see the dedication and push from companies that have the full backing of C-level and the budget to match is amazing and very promising for the future.
So, alongside Mr Green and Kindred, are there any other major players you could name in terms of responsible gambling?
Some of the monopolies do wonderful things such as Norsk Tipping, they do great research and have wonderful tools available. Over Canada way, the monopolies there have some exceptional responsible gambling procedures especially in terms of marketing.
It is that sense of to copy with pride, even though we are all competitive and want to be the best. If we see something that is working then we will collaborate and share the expertise so that the whole industry is raised. I often go for coffee with other responsible gambling individuals and the atmosphere is only ever positive.
What do you believe the future holds for Mr Green when it comes to responsible gambling? The launch of the predictive tool has just happened, what is expected in the next 5 to 10 years?
It is a little difficult to say. The regulators are getting tougher and tougher and the customers, quite rightly, are expecting more and more. In development of the tools, it will come down to what we learn from this predictive tool, how we are pushing communication, sharing data with academics and learning from their expertise. It is unchartered territory at this stage.
Responsible gambling was always kind of in the background but the prominence has only started within the last 5 years and pushed as we know today within the last 2 but, I am excited to see where it will progress.
You were recently mentioned in the Gaming Intelligence’s GI Hot 50 2018, how did that make you feel?
It was really refreshing to see that there were actually responsible gambling people being recognized alongside me, from Kindred and from the UKGC regulatory body. This is a big step forward for our part of the industry and on a personal note it was very nice and flattering to be recognized for trying to push forwards in this area.
Absolutely! So, for anyone interesting in starting their career in this area, what words of advice are you able to give?
Starting point, is always the customer. Even if someone comes directly into a responsible gambling team, I would always recommend going to work in support. It is the core of every part of the business and it roots you in why we do this and why it is important to the company. Then it is learning as much as you can, reading work of academics, getting to know about the industry, the regulatory side of this and compliance. Reach out to responsible gambling people and to see if this is the area for you.
Finally, where would you like to see Mr Green in the future? In terms of the company itself especially with the recent purchase of Evoke, do you feel this might sideline responsible gambling activities or encourage it further?
Definitely encourage it further. It could lead to a white label of the predictive tool and the more customers and players we have that opt in to the tool the more data we have available to use and to learn from.
As for responsible gambling in Mr Green, it is built into the company ethics, long will it continue. The importance that c-level brings to it, will trickle down into every part of the business. As long as we continue to move forwards like this, then it will remain as Mr Green’s core value for a long time to come.
In terms of tools, it is something we are always going to keep pushing and keep learning from. We will always keep pushing.
Thank you, Lauren, for your honest and inspiring words. Responsible gambling is a passion for many of us here at Mr Green and will continue to grow as we do.
For more information on responsible gambling and our predictive tool curtesy of Mr Green, please visit our Green Gaming site.