What is Responsible Gambling?
Responsible gaming is a broad concept which comprises several policies and requirements that apply to gambling stakeholders to make sure they respect the highest standards of quality, and offers a safe user experience that protects people from the potential negative consequences of online gambling.
Gambling should be treated as a fun pastime, and not as a mean to generate income. Whilst the majority of the population can treat gambling as recreation and spend only what they can afford to risk, for some it can be more difficult.
Both online operators and software suppliers that provide online gambling platform and services are requested to comply with the principles of responsible gaming. Furthermore, software suppliers need to support online operators to comply with technical and legislative demands. We can highlight 7 types of responsible gambling areas directly connected to the iGaming industry:
- Protection of vulnerable gamblers
- Prevention of underage gambling
- Safety measures against criminal activities
- Information privacy
- Online payment protection
- A secure online environment
- Ethical and responsible marketing
The 7 Areas of Responsible and Safe Gambling
How do we define the 7 types of responsible gambling that affect our current industry?
Let’s take a fast look over the main responsible gaming elements that all software providers and online operators need to consider.
1. Protection of vulnerable gamblers
One of the most important areas of Responsible Gambling is concerned with the protection of vulnerable players. Some players may become addicted to casino games or sports betting activities and by spending too much money their normal lives are soon affected.
Among the main measures that can be imposed by most regulators in the industry, we can mention self-exclusion programs, limits on the amount of money and time players can spend on a gaming website. At the same time, each particular country imposes its own regulations, such as UK, where our company integrated a few months ago a new reality check functionality that applies to all UK licensed vendors. This reality check facility makes it possible for players to set a frequency to receive a display of the time elapsed since the session started, which offers gamblers the chance to set a limit to their losses and exit the gambling website.
All the same, we implemented many other tools to assist players enjoy responsible gaming sessions, such as the possibility to set financial limits to their accounts. For instance, to avoid potential hasten decisions, an increase in their deposit limit will not take effect until a period of 24 hours.
Another aspect related to self-exclusion has been implemented in Denmark and it’s related to the possibility to exclude oneself from all online gambling activities in the country. Players may do this by registering in the Register Over Frivilligt Udelukkede Spillere (ROFUS).
Furthermore, operators must display information about special organizations that can offer support to players who have been affected by gambling addiction.
2. Prevention of underage gambling
The prevention of underage gaming is one of the most important aspects of responsible gambling and it needs to be emphasized that individuals that have not reached the legal age (18 or 21) must not be allowed to gamble for real-money.
Online operators in turn must take all the necessary steps to make sure that underage gambling activities do not take place on their websites and that the laws protecting minors in their targeted jurisdictions are respected.
Operators must present a clear registration processes for all players and mandatory verification steps to be followed to ensure the age of gamblers.
At the same time, parents are advised to monitor and take all the necessary means to block their access by installing parental control apps and/or programs on their devices.
3. Safety measures against criminal activities
Gambling websites can be affected by online criminals’ activities just like any other sites dealing with e-commerce or financial transactions. To accomplish their goals and obtain private and financial data, online criminals deploy malicious software that targets websites’ vulnerabilities.
To stop this growing tendency, operators are requested to insert procedures and software programs that detect and block money laundering activities and hacking devices.
4. Information privacy
How can online operators protect their customers’ private details from prying eyes? This area is connected to the need of keeping safe players’ private details from unauthorized access that may occur due to illegal online criminal attacks.
By introducing several strong policies to control access to important private data, starting with gamblers’ names, their addresses and phone numbers, operators make sure information privacy is respected and they are in line with most regulators’ requirements.
5. Online payment protection
Operators that offer betting options for sport events and casino games need to make sure that players need to access a reliable software platform that can protect their personal data and financial details. This is an important reason why operators must give a major attention to choosing the most appropriate gaming solution for their purposes for players to safely deposit, transfer and withdraw money on a gambling website.
6. Creation of a secure online environment
One of the most important principles of safe gambling imposes operators to create a series of controls and mechanisms that creates the framework of a secure online environment.
To this end, operators need to make sure their websites are safe locations where players can have fun in a safe gambling environment and all payments and technical processes develop in a secure fashion.
7. Ethical and responsible marketing
Operators should comply with the relevant regulatory advertising codes of practice which typically ensure that advertisements are factually correct and do not target underage or vulnerable gamblers, such as players who have self-excluded themselves from gambling. It is also expected that operators should seek permission from the customer prior to engaging in direct marketing through use of the customer’s personal details.
How can a Gambling Company Stay Responsible?
Any company is directly responsible for its activities and must ensure responsible gambling principles are respected and understood by all parties, from regulators and platform providers to casino games suppliers and players.
At the same time, any platform supplier like us must make sure its software products are embedded in a complete management system that delivers a safe and fair gaming experience.
This means that, even though platform providers may not be in direct contact with the final users, they are nevertheless under moral and juridical requirements to offer online operators the necessary means and tools to control:
- gambling addiction by setting betting limits and self-exclusion tools;
- underage betting problems by checking players’ age;
- guarantee data privacy and security by adding security tools against online threats and criminal activities;
- deliver a secure gambling environment to players by integrating software monitoring capabilities.
Recommendations for responsible gamblers
Since we are aware every stakeholder in the iGaming industry is responsible for promoting an ethical gambling activity, we understand that our gaming software is directed to players who need to see these activities as a way of spending time in a relaxing manner.
To that end, we can provide the following recommendations for gamblers:
- Gambling activities are supposed to be entertaining. That’s why online websites come with so much diversity in sportsbooks and online casinos.
- Online Gaming should not be considered as an easy way of making money.
- Players should not bet money they can’t afford losing. To avoid losing too much money, make sure your online website contains a mechanism that allows you to set the maximum sum of money to be placed on a bet in a certain period.
- Check and limit your time in the online medium. How much time do you spend online on gaming websites? If you are losing every day more than a few hours online, probably it is time to take a break from this activity for a while.
- Check and limit your online wins and losses. Since most gambling activities do contain a certain factor of randomness, players should check how much they win and how much they lose. In case they notice a negative frequency, they must decide if gambling activities are suitable for them. If they decide it is time for a break, players can use the “Self-Exclusion” option to close the account for a period (6 months, 1 year, 2 years, etc.).
- If you feel like you have a problem with online gambling, be strongly believe you should contact a specialized group or organization that can provide the necessary support:
- GamCare is one of the leading authorities providing counselling, advice and practical help in addressing the social impact of gambling activities in UK. They can be contacted by using their helpline: 0845 6000 133. Non-UK residents can also contact GamCare for details of International support organizations.
- Gamblers Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who have come together to act against the danger posed by gambling and they are ready to help compulsive gamblers do the same. There are several regional fellowships around the world.
- Gambling Therapy provides support and counselling for anyone adversely affected by gambling. Members of the Gambling Therapy Team operate from locations both within the UK and internationally.
EveryMatrix, a company that supports responsible gaming
EveryMatrix is aware that stakeholders in this industry are responsible for their actions, from platform providers to online operators and regulators. At the same time, though our company does not maintain a direct contact with the final customers, we are nevertheless driven by the responsible gaming principles depicted above.
The gambling licences EveryMatrix secured in Malta, UK, Denmark and Ireland come as important recognitions of our company’s efforts to stay close to our clients by offering a legal framework for them to operate in these jurisdictions.
In addition, our company has deployed many efforts along the way in implementing the responsible gaming values towards our clients who need to secure their gambling environments for their customers.
EveryMatrix always deploys large efforts to keep up with the ever-growing threats from the online space that target our clients’ websites. For instance, our platform is attacked frequently by third-parties, whether they are targeting our clients or us.
These types of attacks include:
- Brute force against our back-ends (the attacker tries various combination of user/password in the attempt to reach internal data).
- Hacking attempts (the attacker probes for known vulnerabilities to get protected data or to cause service disruption).
- Volumetric DDoS attacks that are supposed to saturate our Internet connection in such way that normal, legitimate traffic can’t go through.
- Application layer attacks on which the malicious user attempts to bring down the services by overloading the servers with application requests.
Along the years, our company took multiple measures to protect from attacks that aim our infrastructure: latest type of firewalls appliance from F5, DDoS protection from Incapsula (one of the leading security companies) and continuous security assessments performed by third parties.
The decision to make gambling responsible and to create a secure environment for players is a common enterprise for platform providers, online operators and regulators.
As the underlying principles of responsible gaming are integrated into our sportsbooks and online casinos products, we make sure our clients’ players avoid gambling addiction, underage betting problems, and dealing with privacy breaches and online threats.