iGaming Regulators & Leaders Stand Up For Responsible Gambling

April 8, 2020

Stand Up For Responsible Gambling

The online gambling industry has been one of the most vocal when it comes to addressing the plight of the vulnerable and taking action to help them resist the urge to overindulge out of boredom or fear.

MGA Draws The Line

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), known for its no-nonsense approach to gambling regulation, posted a concise statement outlining its responsible gambling advertising guideline in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

They require that all regulated online casinos do not:

  • encourage antisocial behaviour
  • suggest that gaming can be a resolution to social, educational, personal or professional problems
  • suggest that gaming can be an alternative to employment
  • a solution to financial concerns or a form of financial investment
  • portray gaming as socially attractive or
  • suggest that solitary gaming is preferable to social gaming

These demands are protected by the Commercial Communications Regulations which state that “all commercial communications must be socially responsible”. They have noted that they will consider any gambling advertising that refers to the COVID-19 outbreak, whether explicitly or even indirectly, as being in breach of the Commercial Communications Regulations.

UKGC Offers Advice On Safe Gambling

The UKGC took a unique approach to dealing with potentially unscrupulous operators by educating players on what a good and trustworthy online casino should offer them. They encouraged players not to give in to the lure of bad gambling habits because of the lockdowns and advised them on what to look for in a safe gambling site:

Online gambling sites have facilities built into them that allow consumers to set a limit on how much they are spending on that site.

  • We have partnered with Twitter to create guidance aimed at supporting users who want to limit the amount of gambling-related content they see on the social media platform.
  • Self-exclusion is an important tool that we require gambling operators to put in place and is available to anyone who wishes to stop gambling for a period of time. An online multi-operator self-exclusion scheme, known as GAMSTOP, has been available since April 2018. To maximise the protections available to you, all licensed online gambling operators are required to participate in the scheme from 31 March 2020.
  • Online gambling companies have to be licensed by us to provide gambling to British consumers. To check whether a site is licensed, look for the link to the Gambling Commission’s Licence Register where you can see what type of activities the site is allowed to offer.
  • Gambling businesses must make a summary of their terms and conditions available to you. It is important to read the terms and conditions before you make a decision on which businesses you wish to gamble with and what the risks of gambling are. Read more about what information gambling businesses must give you here.
  • Gambling websites must give you access to historic account activity. This information may help you understand whether you are spending too much time or money gambling.
  • Remember that although many of us are having to limit contact with others, when it comes to support and advice about your gambling habits, you are not alone.
  • The National Gambling Helpline provides confidential information, advice and support for anyone affected by gambling problems in England, Scotland and Wales. For more information visit gamcare.org.uk
  • Public Health England has issued guidance, advice and tips on how to maintain your mental wellbeing if you need to stay at home.

This is a fantastic approach as an educated player is now able to both manage their actions and judge whether the actions of the casino they’re visiting aligns with the Gambling Commission’s requirements.

Sweden’s Svenska Spel took a similar approach that of the UKGC. They posted an article outlining their top 10 tips for safe online gambling during the quarantine period. A useful resource for players new to gambling and wanting some basic advice on protecting their time and money.

Keep Safe, Play Safe

To echo the sentiment of these industry leaders don’t let your boredom, frustration or concerns become the driving force behind your decision to gamble online. Play for the enjoyment of the experience not to achieve a financial or emotional goal. Even as you keep safe, please also play safe.