Responsible gaming is a concept that is used by gaming and gambling operators, software suppliers and associated service providers. It refers to achieving the highest standards to ensure fair and safe gaming experiences and to protect players from the negative consequences of gambling. Nowadays, the vast majority of gambling codes require online casinos and betting shops to ensure online gaming services are offered in a responsible manner. The domain covers a multitude of levels, such as: protecting vulnerable players, the prevention of underage gaming, protection against fraudulent and criminal behavior, ensuring information privacy, prompt and accurate payments, delivering a fair gaming experience etc.
Codes of Conduct
To ensure that operators, software suppliers and associated service providers respect the principles of responsible gaming, codes of conduct have been developed by several regulators, trade associations or non-profit organizations. These competing codes of conduct have evolved due to the evolution of many legal frameworks. Each operator has its own code of conduct. To make a uniform one, the European Committee for Standardisation has started to develop Responsible Remote Gambling Measures that are aimed to protect the customers.
Responsible Remote Gambling Measures
The Workshop Agreement “Responsible Remote Gambling Measures” is a set of 134 practical measures aimed at safeguarding a high level of consumer protection and ensuring that remote gambling operators behave responsibly in the European Union. The Agreement was published in February 2011 and was officially recognized by the EU, with members in 31 European countries. The agreement also informs policy makers of the standards that are required to maintain a responsible, safe and secure remote gambling environment. To ensure the proper protection of the customer on as many levels as possible, the agreement defines 9 objectives, each having several measures. The 9 objectives are:
The protection of vulnerable customers
The objective is to combat problem gambling and to ensure that gambling takes place in a responsible environment. The 21 measures include clear and accessible customer information and the ability for players to impose deposit limits, self-exclusion or cooling-off periods.
The prevention of underage gambling
The objective is to provide practical and effective means of preventing underage individuals from accessing remote gambling products. The 14 measures include operator and third-party age and ID verification as well as the use of filtering programs.
Combating fraudulent and criminal behavior
The objective is to protect customers and operators from fraud and criminal behavior. The 16 measures include the implementation and enforcement of strict security measures and the reporting of any suspected transactions to the authorities.
Protection of customer privacy and safeguarding of information
The objective is to ensure that privacy and confidentiality of customer information is secured. The 6 measures include the secure storage of credit card details and a confidentiality clause in employment contracts prohibiting the unauthorized disclosure of information.
Prompt and accurate customer payments
The objective is to secure that payments to customers are prompt and accurate. The 11 measures include logging of all information regarding receipts and payments and the use of appropriate checks and verification.
The objective is to ensure that all gambling products offered to customers are fair. The 22 measures include proper procedures for ensuring games are random and fair, and identifying suspicious sports betting transactions and patterns which might pose a threat to the integrity of sporting competitions.
The objective is to provide assurance that advertisements contain factually correct information and are neither false or misleading. The 10 measures include ensuring advertising is not aimed at underage individuals and does not suggest gambling is a means of solving financial difficulties.
Commitment to customer satisfaction and support
The objective is to provide assurance that customers are provided with an enjoyable gaming experience and those possible complaints can be logged at all times and are properly managed. The 7 measures include procedures for the proper handling of customer complaints and the availability of third-party mediation.
Secure, safe and reliable operating environment
The objective is to ensure that gambling products are provided in a secure, safe and reliable operating environment. The 27 measures include risk-based internal and external security reviews that should be conducted at least annually or in the event of material changes as well as regular training and awareness programs for compliance personnel.
Measures Taken by Gambling Operators
Playing online casino games can be an exciting and profitable form of entertainment as anybody loves a win. But you must remember as well that you can also lose money. Any experienced player will tell you the same: the real thrill lies in the playing of the games, not in the outcomes. That is an objective that many online casinos and sports betting operators have started to take into account when they have in mind their responsible gaming policy. Below you can find out some of the most popular measures between gambling operators.
Play with limits
When playing at an online venue of your preference you will probably hear the same thing: know your limits and stick to them. It actually means only to gamble as much as you can afford and for as long as it is still fun. There are a few ways to accomplish that, including:
- session limits;
- deposit limits;
- loss limits;
- and wagering limits.
Time-outs and self-exclusion
If you are concerned that gambling might become a problem, you can always self-exclude from online casinos. Doing so will suspend your account while you take a break. During this time you will be blocked from:
- depositing any funds;
- playing for real money;
- logging into your account.
Protection of minors
Many online casinos require its registered players to be at least 18 years of age or the age of majority in their country of residence in the event that this is older. Most of these venues instate an automatic identification process right after registration and require a copy of a picture ID document upon deposit or withdrawal. They also require a shared responsibility with parents and ask them to consider child protection software such as Cyberpatrol, Cybersitter and K9 Web Protection.
Responsible gaming has become an important part of each online operator. Therefore, providers ensure that games are developed on highest standards, while online venues make every move to meet the requirements set by regulators, trade associations or non-profit organizations, focusing on fairness, player protection and security.