Everything You Need to Know
About Responsible Gaming
Introduction to Responsible Gaming
It’s a concept which consists of policies and requirements that apply to all gaming operators (online casinos), providers, and software suppliers. They must ensure all offers adhere to the highest standards in providing a fair and safe gaming experience to you (the player) — particularly to protect you from the negative consequences of gambling.
All types of gambling should be treated only as a pastime, and not as a source of your income. Most people treat gambling as a recreation and gamble only what they can afford to lose. However, there are some who becomes problem gamblers (also called compulsive gambling). The objective of Responsible Gaming is to prevent that from happening.
Responsible Gaming covers the following:
- Protection of Vulnerable Players
- Prevention of Underage Gambling
- Protection Against Fraudulent and Criminal Behaviour
- Information Privacy
- Online Payment Protection
- Fair Gaming Experience
- Ethical and Responsible Marketing
- Safe and Reliable Environment
1. Protection of Vulnerable Players
The key to maintaining responsible gaming is to help reduce the likeliness of becoming a problem gambler, especially amongst vulnerable players. Self-Exclusion is among the popular measures introduced to help prevent problem gambling. There have been several measures introduced throughout the years to help prevent the onset of compulsive gambling, one of them is Self-Exclusion.
Self-Exclusion basically means asking a gambling operator to exclude you from gambling with them for a duration of team. It can be between 6 to 12 months to up to 5 years. As the player, you can either exclude yourself from a certain operator or through a national self-exclusion scheme set by your region. In Europe, the United Kingdom in particular, it’s an option all online operators must provide to their players. Though it’s also becoming more available to majority of online operators globally.
2. Prevention of Underage Gambling
Preventing any underage from gambling is one of the most important aspects of responsible gaming. Therefore, operators are required to do everything they can to ensure all their players are of proper gambling age—18 or 21 years of age. The age restrictions, however, are dependent on the laws of the jurisdiction that allowed online gambling.
Detection and prevention of minors starts in the registration process. Operators must have a clear registration process outlining their policies towards underage gambling. It is also their responsibility to verify the age of their players. Online operators take identity verification seriously because of the hefty fines regulators and commissions impose to them.
Despite this, underage players still find ways to register an account and play. However, if caught, winnings are forfeited and could face criminal prosecution.
3. Protection Against Fraudulent and Criminal Behavior
Since online casinos deal with financial transactions, they are also targeted by money laundering criminals. That’s why operators are required to implement Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policies and procedures. Measures taken to detect and hopefully prevent such activity. An effective Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process implemented by the operator is one of them. In this process, operators may ask for a valid government issued ID, verified address (PO box is not allowed), and your proof of income.
The KYC process is not only for new players but for existing players as well, particularly those with a sudden change of playing pattern or behavior. Operators also coordinate with local authorities to further investigate.
4. Information Privacy
Your private information is an important data protected by operators against unauthorized disclosure. For your security, privacy policies are implemented by operators and they also encourage you to read their policies.
5. Online Payment Protection
Payment is an integral part of the online casino’s business. They, therefore, ensure that payments to and from players must be well-documented and processed in a timely manner. Operators invest a lot in their payment department, often it’s one of the departments with the most members. They also invest big on the right payment gateways as unreliable gateways lead to failed processed payments which leads to unhappy players!
6. Fair Gaming Experience
Operators and all their online gaming products must be tested by authorized third party software companies to ensure they remain fair and random, and they adhere to the rules set.
7. Ethical and Responsible Marketing
Operators must agree with advertising codes of practice / rules set by regulators. This ensures their advertisements are not misleading and not targeted towards underage or vulnerable players. European-facing casinos are regularly monitored and are heavily fined if found violating such rules. One of the most grave violations is directly engaging (e.g. newsletter) self-excluded players. We’ve seen operators fined millions of dollars because of this.
8. Safe and Reliable Environment
Lastly, operators need to have proper internal controls and processes that respect the licensing conditions as specified by the regulatory jurisdiction that issues the license to operate. Regulators conduct regular visits to the operator’s place of business to audit their business operation—operational, payments, risk management, etc. Operators are also required to demonstrate business continuity management procedures ensuring operations can continue in the event of any unforeseen events.
The takeaway—what you need to remember
That was quite a list! While it’s not easy to remember them all, please remember the following:
- Gambling is only for your entertainment.
It should not be considered as a way to make money.
- Only gambling money you can afford to lose.
Never use money you need for things such as bills, shelter, food, or meant for your family.
- Don’t chase your losses.
If you lose, don’t stake higher to try and regain your losses.
- Don’t play when you’re upset or depressed.
It’s easier to make bad decisions when you’re not feeling yourself.
- Maintain a balanced lifestyle.
Gambling should not be a big part of your life. As soon as you feel you are spending too much time gambling, go get help. Talk to your family or a close friend.
If you need professional help, please contact any of the following organizations for counselling, advice and practical help in addressing the impact of gambling to you:
Gamble Aware (Ireland)
GamblingTherapy (World Wide)
Center of Responsible Gaming (Netherlands)
Gambling Help On Line (Australia)
Responsible Gaming Resource Ctr (Canada)
Center for Ludomani (Denmark)
Center for Addiction Treatment Nova Gorica (Slovenia)