Responsible gambling initiatives are a big part of the iGaming industry. Learning how operators can protect players and ensuring that responsible gambling is enforced is half the operative battle. Yes, you want to deliver a good product, but you also want to make sure that these products are not negatively affecting the player. So, how can operators protect players? What tools are there to better ensure a safer gambling environment? We explore.
Why is responsible gambling important?
There are a lot of reasons why iGaming developers and suppliers should be aware of responsible gambling, starting with the ethical element. Gambling addiction can be a by-product of casino and sports betting, and operators should do their part to minimise it.
This isn’t just for the sake of the customer, however. iGaming is a highly regulated industry and governments are constantly building and evolving their regulations to better understand how operators can protect players. If these regulations are then ignored, governments will get involved to discipline operators, usually with fines that have been reported to be in the millions.
A robust responsible gambling initiative is also needed to attract investors, who want to know that their money is going into a promising business but also a business that takes responsible gambling seriously. They want to know there will be no problems on the horizon and therefore their investment is sound. Considering how operators can protect players doesn’t just take the player into account but the operator itself.
The biggest tool that operators can use is awareness. Awareness ensures that the player goes in knowing the risk and knowing how to spot signs of addiction and when to leave the site.
This is why responsible gaming is a part of every aspect of the marketing of iGaming products, whether it’s a slogan in the corner of a graphic, a disclaimer on an ad, a mention on a website, or a concentrated campaign to show how operators can protect players online. Additionally, there are regulations to make sure marketing doesn’t reach vulnerable people, like children.
Entire non-profit campaigns have been created to better educated players and operators on how operators can protect players, and what support and resources are available. For instance, Safer Gambling Week is an annual event that takes place every November in the UK. Taking part in events like this is a good way to curry favour with industry peers and players alike.
However, sometimes a player has to take things into their own hands, and that’s where a lot of safer gambling tools come in. One way how operators can protect players is to offer them a set of tools, like deposit limits to enforce for themselves if they find they are losing control of their gambling.
One such tool is deposit limits, that will allow players to take part in the gambling they enjoy but set a limit on what they can spend before they get started. With a deposit limit, how much they spend on their gambling is predetermined, whereas what they can win is still a mystery, allowing the thrill of the game to stay in touch.
Alternatively, operators can also offer wagering limits, which will allow the player to deposit as much as they want but ensure they don’t spend it all on one big spin, for example, or make excessively big bets.
Time out sessions
However, in other instances, a lot of players simply need to step away from the game. Another tactic operators can use to protect players is to invoke time out sessions and cooling off periods. How operators can protect players best comes down to limiting time. Sometimes a cooling off period is enough to let the player calm down from the mounting tension of the game that might not be going the way they want it to.
Additionally, longer periods of time away from the site might be necessary to better protect players. Another means of how operators can protect players is to exclude them from the site entirely. This is the quit cold-turkey approach and might be the required move to better protect players, their money, their psyche, and their personal lives.
It’s important to understand how operators can protect players with the tools that are becoming more readily available in the iGaming space, not only for the sake of the players but for the operators too.