Focal’s ALeRT™ BETTOR Protection System Better protection for your customers and business

Risk Management

ALeRT™BETTOR Protection uses routinely stored customer data to create complex models for identifying and managing high-risk play that otherwise may not be visible to operators or customers. ALeRT™ provides infrastructure for monitoring risk, conducting customer interactions, evaluating and reporting player outcomes. ALeRT can also easily incorporate other methods an operator may be using to identify risk with options for importing or uploading information from other management systems. This supports development of a confidential central risk dashboard for monitoring and managing customer safety and compliance requirements that is independent from an operator’s marketing and sales system. Players risk profiles can also be easily exported to help guide and evaluate the impact of marketing practices.  

Gold Standard

ALeRT™ algorithms are custom built and tested using a gold standard risk measure such as the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) (Ferris & Wynne 2001) to identify real high-risk play patterns for real customers. This is important as the cost of failing to identify ‘real’ problem gamblers is increasing as regulators introduce fines and sanctions for non-compliance. Some problem gamblers are high spenders but most high spenders are not at risk and for others even modest amounts of money may be too much. This is also true for those who play for long periods making time and money inefficient indicators on their own for targeting resources to high-risk players. That is why Focal Research created an large inventory of ‘Decision Indicators’ that identifies risky choices players make that leads to problems and harm regardless of how much time or money they can afford.  

Broad Coverage

ALeRT™ uses many discreet triggers when identifying customers and will work even when high-risk players try to evade detection or change their behavior. ALeRT™ models include multiple algorithms and numerous indicators that allow broader coverage of high-risk behaviours specific to an operator’s players, market, and practices. Focal has built effective models for pokies, video lottery, slots, electronic roulette, table games, sports betting, racing and others for land-based and remote gambling. ALeRT™ is an agile solution that can be easily adapted to conform to changes in products, markets, gaming systems and compliance.

Few gamblers actively seek out help on their own and usually only after they are having significant problems. By proactively reaching out to players found to be engaging in these risky decisions operators are well-positioned to prevent problems from developing and escalating as well as identifying those who may need self-help, self-exclusion or professional assistance to manage their gambling.


Efficient Interactions

ALeRT™ ensures operators are identifying and assisting the right people. The accuracy of the models allows the ALeRT™ system to measure and report the impact customer interactions are having in achieving improved player outcomes, something that is not possible with less effective risk detection methods. 

Focal has developed a companion program, ALeRT™ BETTOR Customer Care, to support staff in integrating effective interactions as part of their standard customer service. The BETTOR Customer Care series was developed based on almost 10 years of experience in using the algorithms with over 32,000 customers interactions. It is intended as a supplement to an operator’s current staff training and resources. The program is comprised of five levels of interactions and 18 online lessons ranging from education for prevention purposes, to self management strategies for risk reduction, and specialised assistance for helping those who may be experiencing harm.  


The science behind ALeRT™ means each model is tested so operators know how it will perform when used with their customers and performance can be verified by a third-party. It is not possible to find all problem gamblers based on play patterns or observation alone but ALeRT’s models have a high True Positive rate (i.e., accuracy) which improves operators efficiency in finding and helping those who are most likely to need assistance without bothering other social gamblers. Operators and their staff can feel confident that all those identified by the model are engaging in play patterns that were found most often among those who scored as problem gamblers, so if they are not having problems now they are likely to develop problems if they don’t introduce changes. ALeRT also includes low risk models to detect responsible gambling patterns so operators can reinforce and track low risk play.


In an online environment where it is not possible to directly observe Gamblers of Interest, other methods are required to help link appropriate meaningful action to identification. The Focal Adult Gambling Screen (FLAGS) is used as a framework to develop strategic interaction models. Based on over 20 years of research published in peer reviewed journals and reports, FLAGS is made up of ten different risk and harm constructs (groupings) that can be used together to assign players to one of five player risk categories. The FLAGS constructs can also be used separately to assess specific issues players may be experiencing for strategic action. Each model is then linked to strategic interaction guidelines for direct messaging or other relevant actions targeting a customer’s specific needs. This is a revolutionary advancement in helping to address a customers particular risk and harm characteristics (e.g., impaired control, obsession, risky behaviour, or risky motivations and beliefs).

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