Leading online gaming firm Bwin Interactive Entertainment AG has signed a five-year agreement with the Division on Addictions at the Cambridge Health Alliance to extend a research project investigating safe gambling practices.
The Vienna-based firm behind Bwin.com and PokerRoom.com revealed that the objective of the continued research would be to use scientific evidence in order to create the safest possible online gaming environment by implementing the findings of the world's largest longitudinal study.
The Cambridge Health Alliance is a teaching affiliate for Boston-based Harvard Medical School and has been working with Bwin for three years setting new standards for the industry, developing and testing empirically-supported new responsible gaming initiatives and providing customers with responsible gaming information and tools.
'Bwin has taken the industry's leading position for corporate social responsibility,” said Dr Howard Shaffer, Associate Professor for Harvard Medical School and Director for the Division on Addictions.
“Through its relationship with the Division on Addictions, Bwin has supported numerous scientific inquiries including the first ever scientific longitudinal study of actual Internet gaming behaviour, numerous scientific publications and editorial position statements.”
The extended research programme will endeavour to establish a scientific evidence base over the next five years in order to help guide the development of safe, recreational gaming environments. It will also strive to prevent the emergence of gaming-related problems along with reducing any such complaints that may already exist.
'We need to understand what goes on in consumers' minds and be able to answer fundamental questions about online gaming based on scientific evidence and not based on speculation,” said Manfred Bodner, Co-Chief Executive Officer for Bwin.
“Ultimately, we are interested in creating behavioural models capable of predicting certain outcomes. Therefore, we are working towards establishing the scientific foundation that will yield algorithms capable of identifying risk patterns associated with disordered gambling so that we can prevent them.”