How online casino players are identified for safety and addiction
Gambling addiction is a big problem in the modern world.
09:37 22 April 2020
The innovation of online gambling combined with the increase in accessible mobile solutions means that more people than ever before have access to the opportunity to gamble. While for the significant majority of people gambling is carried out in moderation, there are still small pockets of people who are unable to gamble at a sustainable level.
The increase in ways for people to gain access to a gambling account means that it’s a lot easier for a gambling addict to gain access to another account if they are blocked from using their favored account. This means that gambling operators and regulators have had to take action to combat this and to protect players who have a gambling problem. Most casino sites do have a page about dealing with these issues, for example onlinecasino-southafrica.co.za gambling addiction information.
Why is gambling addiction such a problem?
A lot of people might say, if people want to spend their money on gambling then that’s up to them. It’s their money after all. However, when it comes to gambling addiction it’s not always as simple as that. Firstly, people with a gambling addiction might begin to use money that is required to live in order to place bets. This could be rent money, food money or just money for other bills. If they have a family then this problem is amplified even higher. If there is no actual money available then some addicts can turn to using credit cards and building up large debts in order to feed their addiction.
On top of this there’s also the problem that some gambling addicts resort to crime in order to feed their addiction. It could be stealing from people close to them or even moving towards burglary and other crimes. This creates an even bigger issue than just the gambling addiction. These are the reasons why the regulators have moved to bring in measures to combat this problem.
How have regulators moved to combat this problem?
Many online regulators have recognized that gambling addiction is becoming a problem. As such many have taken out social responsibility measures that all companies that they regulate have to abide by. The UKGC is one of the toughest in regards to these measures and has brought in a number of new regulations in order to protect consumers and stop gambling companies from taking advantage of problem gamblers.
One of the first measures is that large deposits have to be checked and traced to ensure that players aren’t developing a problem. If deposit amounts are increasing and becoming more regular over both a short and long term time period, then operators are required to report this to the UKGC. This information can then be collated to check if the player involved is carrying out these kinds of deposits at more than just the one site.
This then gives the UKGC a lot of information to be able to check if a player is showing signs of having a gambling problem. Another measure that has been implemented when it comes to large deposits is that operators are required to check how the player got access to their funds. This measure is used to stop gambling operators from taking in money that has been collected in a fraudulent manner.
These are just some of the measures that the UKGC has implemented in order to try and combat problem gambling being exploited. What they have also done is to impose sanctions on operators who don’t comply with the legislation. This can be anything from fines to losing their licenses.
The fines that are imposed on operators are usually used to cover any costs of crime that the problem gambler carried out and to fund charities that help people with gambling problems.
How the players are identified
As previously mentioned, deposit levels are monitored very closely in order to try and target problem gamblers as early as possible. There is also a new system being implemented that will link together all UKGC regulated casinos and from there use sophisticated algorithms in order to track players that might have a problem.
There is also self identification which all UKGC online gambling sites are required to offer. This allows players to put a block on all of their gambling accounts if they believe themselves to have a problem. This block can’t be manually removed and will only let players back in once the selected time period is over. While self identification can’t be relied on to find all gamblers with a problem, it’s still a useful tool to increase the number of players who are identified.
Countries without regulation suffer
While countries that have a gambling regulator in place are attempting to combat the problems that gambling addiction can cause, countries that don’t have a regulator in place are struggling to deal with the issues. South Africa is one such country that has these issues. With the government effectively banning online gambling it has led to a large number of illicit gambling sites to pop up.
These sites are unlicensed and have no legislation in place to protect players from being exploited. It also means that problem gambling isn’t discouraged, but actively encouraged. Because the sites operate outside of the law, they have no reason to care where the money comes from. This has led to big issues within South Africa, especially where the marketing is directed at convincing players that gambling is the solution to any financial worries.
Gambling in regulated countries has a lot of positives, the main one being tax revenue that is used to help build up infrastructure. In an unregulated country such as South Africa it’s just another way for criminals to exploit regular people.
Until the government sees the potential for growth in tax revenues, the South African people will always be a target for unscrupulous casino operators who want to act outside of the law. It means that problem gamblers will never be protected and gambling addicts will never be spotted and protected from exploitation. While many see the UKGC as overzealous with some of their regulations, when it’s compared to the alternative it’s evident that they have the correct approach.