New responsible gambling measures in the context of COVID-19
By Joc Responsabil
Applying the principles of responsible gaming is now, more than ever, a crucial element in the sustainable development of gambling operators both locally and internationally. For example, in response to the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the quarantine and isolation at home imposed by the prevention of the spread of this virus, but also on the basis of data collected from UK gambling operators and YouGov studies, The Gambling Commission of the United Kingdom (Gambling Commission) has recently introduced new measures regarding responsible gambling. The Gambling Commission was set up in 2005 with the aim of regulating the commercial activity of gambling operators in the United Kingdom, in partnership with the licensing authorities of these operators. These measures will be reviewed regularly by the Commission and may be adjusted according to changes in context.
So what does this set of new measures, recommended to implement as soon as possible, contain?
– Review all indicators and mechanisms used to track players’ vulnerabilities, in order to ensure that gambling operators are aware of the changing financial situation that most consumers, including gamblers, are experiencing during this period. These are the time indicators that identify excessive gambling, as the main factor that identifies a potential problem related to gambling;
– Establish or modify these indicators or mechanisms, in the case of new players, in order for gambling operators to be aware of the gameplay of these customers but also with the patterns in which they write the ways in which they spend money to practice this form of entertainment;
– Implement a series of processes to ensure continuous monitoring of the customer base, in order to identify what gambling behaviors, gambling methods or types of spending money have changed over a period of several weeks, in the context of the coronavirus pandemic;
– Carry out individual evaluations of players in order to see if they are facing a gambling problem. The Commission also recommends that gambling operators consider limiting or blocking gambling in the case of players who have a problem until these evaluations are completed and can lead to a conclusion regarding them;
– Stop giving bonuses or promotions to customers who have registered indicators that show a potential problem with gambling;
– Know and identify customers at risk of developing a gambling problem and act quickly and quickly so that gambling operators can help stop or prevent these problems from worsening in the future.
Many might view these measures as clear evidence of increasingly stringent regulation and stricter restrictions on British gambling operators, given that the UK is among the countries with the strictest regulations in the field. However, the Gambling Commission has long taken a precautionary approach given that public data on the UK market shows an increase in gambling time and gambling amounts in certain categories of consumers. of this mode of entertainment. But in the current context, dominated by a health crisis (caused by the coronavirus epidemic) doubled by an economic one, almost all countries of the world, the gambling industry must continue to act responsibly.
Another example of good practice in gambling during this period is that of the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC), which launched an education campaign in May to prevent gambling problems, called “Stay safe. Play Safe.” The aim of the campaign was to support the 54% of Canadians who said they gambled online during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, a series of ads ran on social media, providing information on how players can safely gamble online. These messages provided information about low-risk gambling strategies as well as how to identify the first signs of a gambling problem. Some of these messages were about taking precautions, protecting against the risk of developing a gambling problem, and identifying it signs. The campaign was launched on the social media platforms Facebook, Instagram and Demand-Side and took place between 11-31 May 2020.