Responsible gambling is the set of social responsibility initiatives by the gambling industry—including governments and gaming control boards, operators (such as casinos), and vendors—to ensure the integrity and fairness of their operations and to promote awareness of harms associated with gambling, such as gambling addiction.
Commitments to promoting awareness of gambling addiction is included within the concept of responsible gambling, and can include customer-imposed limits and self-exclusion schemes. In the United Kingdom, several major banks have also offered the ability for customers to block gambling-related translations on their credit cards. NatWest introduced a pilot in October 2019 to allow GamCare appointments to be scheduled at selected branches. Earlier in the year, the UK also imposed bet limits on fixed odds betting terminals as part of an effort to control gambling addiction associated with them.
In the interest of combating addiction, gambling operators in the UK are also obliged to provide certain tools allowing players to restrict their own play. These include:
- Self Exclusion / Time Out – allowing players to put their account on temporary (reversible) hiatus.
- Reality Check – a pop-up is triggered at certain time intervals to remind players to take a break / stop playing.
- Time Limits – used for setting strict time limits on playing sessions.
- Deposit Limits / Account Tracker – used for enforcing a limit on deposits.
- Permanent Account Closure – lets players close their account cut off all contact from the gambling operator.
The industry has also partaken in commitments to prevent those who are not appropriately-aged from participating in gambling activities. Key initiatives have included the efforts of the American Gaming Association (AGA), which adopted a comprehensive guideline for underage gambling, as well as the unattended minors guideline developed with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. In 2017, the organization announced a code of conduct for its members, which included specific training requirements for employees to deal with underage gaming.
Fraudulent and Criminal Behaviour
Operators are required to implement anti-money laundering policies and procedures. This involves implementing effective know your customer processes when taking on new customers and tracking and reporting any suspicious transactions.
Information privacy refers to the protection of customer data and records against unauthorised or unnecessary disclosure. Operators are required to implement policies that ensure controls and measures are in place to prevent unauthorised disclosure and use of customer information. Customer information typically relates to data such as name, address, age, telephone number and email address.
Fair Gaming and Responsible Marketing
All gaming products should be tested to ensure they are fair and random and that they adhere to the rules of that game. Testing to ensure fair gaming is increasingly carried out by independent organisations. 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.
Secure Operating Enviroment
Operators are required to demonstrate internal controls and processes that adhere to the licensing conditions as stipulated by the regulatory jurisdiction that issues gaming and gambling licenses. Internal controls should also be implemented to ensure that all operational, payment and technical systems and processes operate securely and effectively. In addition, operators need to demonstrate adequate business continuity management procedures to ensure that operations can continue in the event of unforeseen circumstances or disasters.