From online casino games to sports betting and wagering apps, online gambling (gaming) is becoming increasingly popular throughout the U.S. and around the world. That’s why it’s more important than ever for gaming operators and players to understand responsible gaming and follow safer gambling practices to keep it fun and avoid harm. In honor of Responsible Gaming Education Month in the U.S., let’s explore frequently asked questions about responsible gaming.
What is Responsible Gaming?
Responsible gaming refers to the practice of making sure gambling is used for entertainment purposes and preventing those who should not be gambling — such as minors and other prohibited players — from participating. This practice is especially crucial for online gaming, as it’s traditionally been much harder to know your players on the other side of the screen. By implementing advanced identity verification, authentication and AML screening solutions, gaming operators can ensure online gaming is just as safe as gaming in physical locations.
How Can Gaming Operators Promote Responsible Gaming?
Online gaming operators have an important part to play in promoting responsible gaming. The main focus should be on the prevention of problem gambling as well as providing tools to help those who have succumbed to problem gambling.
The gaming operator should have a series of processes that protect the player at all times. These protections can include time limits to help control the amount of time a player gambles, deposit limits to specify the maximum amount of money a player can deposit into their gaming account, self-exclusion programs whereby a player can deactivate their account for a period of time or indefinitely, and exclusion programs whereby loved ones and family members can request exclusion of that player.
Not only is this good corporate social responsibility — it’s also good business. Players with gambling problems do not make good long-term customers. And stories about compulsive gamblers who rack up unmanageable debts are often bad for a gaming operator’s reputation in the community. According to Fernando Garita, head of Latin American business development at Betcris, gaming operators gain a competitive advantage by putting responsible gaming measures in place.
Information and Education
Gaming operators should provide clear information and educational resources on responsible gambling and the possible consequences of compulsive gambling behavior. Gaming platforms should make it easy to self-exclude and use the other responsible gambling resources. They should also include problem gambling helplines and websites of organizations such as Gamblers Anonymous that can help players assess their gambling habits and overcome addiction.
Companies should avoid excessive promotion of the game and ensure that advertising is not misleading or directed at minors. In addition to satisfying regulators, gaming operators must consider the reputational risk that would come from attracting minors.
Cooperation with Help Organizations
Gaming companies should work together with responsible gaming and mental health organizations to improve their practices and services. For example, the National Council on Problem Gambling offers the Internet Compliance Assessment Program (ICAP), a U.S. accreditation for best practices in player protection.
Raising the Stakes
Responsible Gaming Trends Around the World
What is Safer Gambling?
Safer gambling refers to the guidelines players follow to ensure gaming stays fun and does not lead to a gambling disorder. While it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of online gaming, players should always keep these guidelines in mind:
- Play for fun
- Make sure the game does not affect your work or family environment
- Define a gaming budget, wager limits and loss limits — and stick to them
- Establish game times and do not exceed them. Know when to take a time out.
- Do not continue gambling to try to win back losses
- The game should not cause stress or anxiety but serve only as a form of entertainment
Players who chase losses, become preoccupied with wagering, and lose control over the amount of time and money spent gambling may be suffering from a gambling addiction.
How Can Technology Protect Players?
Online gaming is naturally well-suited to use technology to protect players and help stop problem gambling. Gaming platforms can monitor a player’s gambling activities and show warning messages when the player is demonstrating problematic behavior patterns. They can display information about problem gambling and provide resources that can help. And they can enforce limits on the amount the user can spend and the amount of time they play. Also, biometric authentication solutions can ensure fraudsters aren’t attempting to take over a legitimate player’s account.
How Can Online Gaming Platforms Prevent Minors from Playing?
Automated identity verification solutions ensure that a player is who they say they are when they sign up by comparing their ID and selfie. But what if the person is a minor using a fake ID that says they’re older than they are? To protect minors online, make sure your identity verification solution uses advanced age verification features such as age estimation, which compares the age on the ID with the estimated age of the person in the selfie.
What are the Current Trends in Responsible Gaming?
To learn more about responsible gaming, download our latest ebook, Raising the Stakes: Responsible Gaming Trends Around the World. As a leading provider of identity proofing solutions to online gaming operators across the globe, Jumio is proud to help keep gaming fun and safe for players everywhere.