Online gaming and gambling in general has become a common practice in recent years. With the availability of different online gaming platforms as well as land-based gaming venues, people now have easy access to gaming. In fact, nowadays gamers can play anytime, from any location and pretty much any game they like. While gaming is mostly used as a means of socialization, relaxation and enjoyment, it can become problematic for many users.
In the last years, the problem of gambling has become a common concern worldwide. We have seen people engage in gambling practices in such a way that it leads to the damage of the individual, society, family and even work life. The concept of problem gambling is also rampant in underage gambling whereby persons under the legal age engage in gambling activities. For this reason, the promotions of responsible gaming should be a priority for all online gaming and betting businesses.
So, what is responsible gaming?
Responsible gaming entails engaging in gaming activities while exerting control over the intensity of gaming activities. As such, people who gamble responsibly engage in gaming activities purely for entertainment and pleasure while realizing all the associated risks. Moreover, responsible gamblers are those, who also successfully balance gaming with other sectors of their lives such as work, financial responsibilities and family needs.
However, problem gambling cannot entirely be blamed on gamers. Other individuals and institutions like gambling providers, sporting associations and governments also need to be involved in ensuring and promoting responsible online gaming policies.
Among the measures that should be implemented to enhance responsible gaming include the following:
Responsible and ethical marketing
The gambling sector is regulated by a set of marketing codes to protect vulnerable and underage gamers. As such, online and offline gambling platforms should comply with the relevant marketing codes of practice. For instance, gambling sites should not target players who have excluded themselves from engaging in gambling practices. Also, gaming operators should seek customer’s permission before using personal details in direct marketing.
Protection of underage gamers
The problem of underage gambling has become common especially with the increase of online gambling sites. An online gambling website must take the necessary steps to protect the rights of minors and ensure underage gaming activities do not take place on the website. Online gambling operators must have a clear registration process where all players are subjected to mandatory verification steps. Land-based gambling sites are also required to deny underage players entry to the gaming premises. Also, parents and guardians are advised to monitor and block access to unauthorized apps and programs on children’s gadgets.
These are measures that remind gamers how long they have been gambling and how much they have lost or won. The reality checks in most online casinos feature a periodic in-game notification. In some online platforms, gaming may be discontinued until the gamer acknowledges the notification.
Playing limit is the maximum amount of time a player can play at any given time. Online casino operators should implement gaming limits to encourage responsible gaming.
Gamers can use time-outs to remove themselves from a gambling platform for a given amount of time. Just like the feature for play limit, players should be able to have a feature, which could help them put their account on a temporary hold, blocking them from gambling and this way promoting responsible gambling.
This is the maximum amount of funds that a gambler can deposit in a gambling platform at any given time. Deposit limits control the use of unavailable funds or excess funds in gambling. Some gambling platforms may even use credit cards in gaming.
Permanent account closures
Gamers who experience difficulties in controlling the amount of money and time may request for a permanent closure of a gambling account. If this option is taken, the remaining funds can be withdrawn upon request. Also, no marketing or promotion materials should be sent to a player who has closed his or her gambling account.
While it is evident that problem gambling is a major problem globally, it is the responsibility of all institutions and individuals including gamers, the government, licensing bodies and gambling site owners to enforce measures that will encourage responsible gambling practices. That said, if you notice that gambling is becoming an addictive practise, please seek help to avoid the negative consequences.