The iGaming market skyrocketed and revolutionised in the last few decades. New technologies, advanced approaches in land-based casinos, easy availability online, penetration in the video game market, and many other reasons lead us to the day when we should consider how safe and fair iGaming is. In 2018 the UK released a 26-page document that aims to help to solve this concern in the next three years. They include strategies on how to create a fair and safe gaming market and to reduce gaming-related abuse. A 3-year strategy focuses on prevention, education, treatment, and support for problem gamblers.
What is the three-year strategy for fair and safe iGaming
Gambling commission, an executive non-departmental public body of the Government of the UK, releases industry statistics for gambling two times in a year. It provides information on the progress of the gambling industry. License holders provide this data as agreed to regularity and lottery submissions. This data helps to understand more carefully how the market operates and detects unfair and vulnerable actions done inside the iGaming industry. It helped to form a three-year strategy to ensure a fair and safe gaming system and protect the interest of consumers.
Taking a broad view, the total net spent on British Gambling Industry is £13.8 billion that mainly consists of three sectors: the online (31%), betting (25%), and the National Lottery (24%).
Gambling Commission has steady intentions for a free, fair, and safe gaming market in the UK. They composed aspirations to deliver their strategic priorities more clear to the industry and to stress out on the security of each customer. They stand for the full empowerment of people to make informed gambling choices and customer’s ability to differentiate operators in a competitive market. Customers should experience free to enjoy gambling and be well informed on their services and risks.
The three-year strategy document declares five strategic priorities to promote fairness in gambling. Each of these strategic priorities has one specific goal – to make life better for both, gaming operators and the customers on the iGaming market. These priorities are:
- Protection of customers’ interests
- Prevention of harm to both customers and the society in general
- Setting and raising standards in the iGaming market
- Optimization of returns from lotteries for good causes
- Improvement of regulatory systems and processes.
Consumers and iGaming
Recently, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) opened a public consultation for ages and id verification processes involved in online gambling. The purpose is to enable operators to monitor consumers’ registration and any interaction with iGaming providers. Hence, players will be identified before being able to play for real money accurately. These identification parameters include name, address, age, date of birth, and email address verification. In addition, the payment method would be requested for entry. These regulations do not cover operators that offer free online games with no deposit, such as pokieslab.com. The strict control would be able to identify people who play illegally as well as determine problem gamblers.
UKGC commented on the establishment of these regulations: ‘We encourage any licensee or prospective licensees, along with consumers and members of the public, to share views and to support evidence or insight.’ Further, they added: ‘We are also keen to hear from id verification solution providers, primarily where they can provide details of capabilities for technology and information.’
UKGC took radical changes in the background of the research on the relationship between consumers and gambling. The study covered 50 million population in the UK. In general, it revealed that more than half of the UK citizens gambled in the past year (63%). Only 34% of them treat gambling as fair and safe. Regarding preferences among 32m gamblers, 29% choose the National lottery, and 71% are interested in other things. Due to device usage, 18% of consumers are online gamblers, and 29% are mobile gamblers.
The state of strategy in 2019
There is a little setback on the progress of the three-year strategy. As reported by The Guardian, the government failed to back mandatory betting levy. It will affect the penetration and efficiency of the laid-out strategy plans in creating fair and safe relationships between customer and iGaming operators.
Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, made this accusation and was backed by several personalities, Ronnie Cowan, The Scottish National Party MP, Bill Moyes, The Gambling Commission chairman, and Kenny Alexander, GVCs Chief executive. In general, it means that the introduction of the strategy was a small step forward to the fair market. But it needs a support with further regulations from the side of the government. On the other hand, it needs fool market transformation and adjustment from the side of gambling leader providers.
What has been undertaken is that UKGC has opened a consultation on proposed iGaming ID verification rules. This consultation would make sure all the necessary protocols are taken to identify addicted gamblers for treatment. Additionally, in a bid to regulate and protect problem gamblers, online casinos found guilty would pay a penalty package of £5.85 million. Video slots would be paying £1 million also as a financial penalty. It has been set by the Gambling Commission also to prevent money laundering. Ever since the fines were introduced, three online casinos were found guilty and were obliged to pay out £14 million fine. Therefore, anyone into the gaming business should take the time to understand the policies and procedures to take action and start playing by the rules.