With online gambling the preferred method for gaming in today’s society, both operators and players want to feel safe as the popularity of online betting continues to increase. However, with that comes certain responsibilities from both the operator and the player.
With 2022’s global online gambling market valued at $63.53 billion, online casinos want to guarantee that their players are practicing responsible gaming through developing information solutions that support and assist gamblers, safeguard the authenticity of gambling activities, and prevent fraudulent activities, thus giving players the assurance of using a safe online gambling site.
However, there might come reservations from both parties that their time and efforts must be sacrificed in order to practice safe gaming, but that’s quite the contrary.
What is responsible gaming and why is it important?
Responsible gaming is all about prevention. Players want to enjoy themselves, but sometimes things can go too far, or individuals might take advantage of the system. Instead, responsible gaming is a concept that encompasses several policies and requirements which apply to gambling stakeholders. These policies and requirements make sure operators adhere to the highest standards of quality, while offering a safe user experience that protects people from the potential negative consequences of online gambling.
The creation and maintenance of a socially responsible gambling environment and the provision of tools to support gamblers with their gambling behavior lies at the core of the European Commision’s Recommendation principles. Although it is up to the individual players to take advantage of the tools being offered, it is up to the Member States to ensure that appropriate tools that facilitate safer gambling practices are available.
As such, ”the Recommendation specifies that online gambling operators should be required to allow players to set their own financial and temporal limits, to offer time-outs, temporary breaks and long-term self-exclusion schemes, to provide gamblers with information regarding their playing and expenditure patterns, and to initiate engagement with any customers whose playing patterns give indication of the potential development of gambling problems.”
Additionally, it is suggested that gambling websites should display links to relevant support helplines and other details of support organizations in order to ensure responsible gambling. Furthermore, Member States are urged to create national self-exclusion registers that would enable players to exclude themselves from all online gambling operators licensed in that jurisdiction and to ensure that all operators have access to such registers. Through this encouragement, the number of Member States that offer national self-exclusion registers has actually increased over the past three years to a total number of 16.
Thus, gambling operators have the opportunity to give their customers all the tools they need to practice responsible gambling. However, it isn’t only through self-exclusion and monitoring gambling behavior that this will be achieved. It also entails a few more aspects on the side of the stakeholder. Here is a list that operators should be aware of and implement in order to establish responsible gaming:
- Protecting vulnerable gamblers with responsible gaming tools and self-exclusion lists
- Preventing underage gambling
- Incorporating safety measures to fight criminal activities such as i.e. chip dumping as part of money laundering schemes
- Providing an information policy
- Having an online payment protection
- Maintaining a secure online environment
- Complying with ethical and responsible marketing
The importance is therefore driven home through the above practices. Thus, companies in the online gambling sector who implement the above measures act as role models when it comes to the importance of responsible gaming.
Underage gambling and fraud prevention.
Not only are vulnerable gamblers protected, as well as underage gamblers, but by having a safe online gambling site it allows the operator to fight criminal activities, which put not only the company in jeopardy, but also its players. With underage gambling becoming more popular, with nearly 40% of 11-16 year-olds wagering their own money in the UK, this is one of the many reasons why countries such as the UK and Germany place heavy restrictions on online gambling.
Furthermore, in the case of criminal activities, fraud is a serious problem in many aspects of the online world, not excluding online gaming. This is particularly the case when big sports events occur and operators see an increase in user activity. Just in the first quarter of 2022, the global online gambling fraud rate grew to 50%.
In consequence, safe online gambling sites are required to verify the identity of their players in order to prevent such cases, both fraud and underage gambling alike, from happening.
What does responsible gaming or safe gambling mean for gambling operators?
No matter the jurisdiction, responsible gaming is at the core of all regulated operators. This means that operators must ensure that their customers gamble in a safe and controlled environment by implementing practices to prevent and combat gambling addiction.
Thus, when looking at responsible gaming from an operator’s perspective, KYC is an important part of the matrix due to getting an overall picture of the players on their sites. Without identifying a player, monitoring that individual’s gambling behavior would not be possible. As such, KYC is crucial when it comes to responsible gaming because it helps prevent addiction, protects vulnerable players, as well as reduces fraud all by identifying players before they start gambling. In short, responsible gaming with the help of KYC is a crucial aspect of gambling operations that emphasizes the need for safe and sustainable gambling practices and will help secure a company’s reputation.
Securing players & platforms.
With KYC a major part of responsible gaming, gambling operators need to secure not only their players but also their platform. Many operators face the challenge of performing the regulatory requirements correctly due to lack of knowledge or solutions. With jurisdictions having varied regulations such as those across the EU, it can be quite overwhelming to know what needs to be included. However, what responsible gaming comes down to is securing players and the platforms they use.
Thus, each market has different levels of importance for what triggers responsible gaming. Some may set more importance on Loss Limits, Deposit Limits or Time Limits with imposed monetary or time values. Some may focus on affordability of an individual player, multiple accounts, or regular changes in payment options. All of these data points tie into an overall player profile and from that an operator can assess if any interactions are required to either prevent a player from increasing their risk levels, a time-out (cool down period) is required, or changes in marketing towards a player (no bonus marketing, and more of a safe gambling marketing approach is required) or in some extreme circumstances closure of accounts.
How ID verification can assist in responsible gaming.
When it comes to online gambling and identity verification, many companies and players are turned off by the requirements. However, this need not be the case. Businesses can incorporate responsible gaming while keeping player conversions.
The key to such success is through a user-friendly verification process that also prohibits fraud. By providing such an experience, huge sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup or any gaming event can become perfect examples and opportunities for operators to showcase what they are able to do for their players.
By giving players options on how to identify themselves, like with automated identity verification options provided by IDnow, it takes into consideration background checks that take place before the ID verification, and what browsers and devices might be used by the players to meet customer demand.
Additionally, through the use of NFC, operators are able to quickly scan an NFC document which requires less human intervention, thus improving gross margins for the company and more convenience for the end-users. And not only that, it provides a higher level of security for the company through the reading of the chip, with more regulators accepting it.
This in turn uncovers a new wave of sophisticated crime that is only detected through ID verification. Because when visual security features on an ID document, like holograms and watermarks, are forged to perfection it requires verification solutions that look beyond visual security features, like with NFC.
In the end, ID verification is a win-win for both the gaming operators and sports fans alike by providing high levels of security for the company and a fast and convenient onboarding process for customers. In fact, 83% of operators believe smooth digital transactions have become essential to business survival. Trust is consequently forged between the operator and its players.
Leveraging IDV and KYC.
By partnering with a RegTech provider and leveraging such automated identity verification solutions from IDnow, which use artificial intelligence to check security features on ID documents and have the potential to cover more than 7 billion customers from 195 different countries, you can be sure that the identity and age of your customers is verified.
Our solutions are focused around security and uncomplicated application for the customer, making the process as simple as following on-screen prompts and completing verification within minutes, boasting a conversion rate of 90%.
The IDnow platform covers a wide range of use cases both in regulated sectors in Europe, as well as for entirely new digital business models worldwide and allows the identity flow to adapt to different, regional, legal, and business requirements on a per use case basis.
Through leveraging such robust KYC processes, like those at IDnow, online gaming operators can rest assured that responsible gaming is taken seriously at IDnow through the use of our identity verification solutions. You can trust the IDnow team and their experience to fulfill all of the key factors and excel as a gaming identity verification partner.
VP Global Gaming at IDnow
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