Martin Singh is the founder of an independent review platform Mics.org that helps players choose reliable casinos that exercise and promote responsible gambling.
What Is Responsible Gambling?
In the 21st century, the word gambling often has a negative connotation. Many people see it as a bad habit that leads to serious monetary losses, depression, and social issues. In reality, gambling can be a great way for a person to relax, play their favorite games, and enjoy a positive recreational experience.
People who see the negative effects of casino games often think about irresponsible gambling. It involves a dangerous experience that leads to financial losses, addiction, and loss of quality of life.
For some players, gambling never goes beyond a fun, recreational experience. For others, it turns into a nightmare. That’s where responsible gaming comes in. This concept covers specific policies and requirements that a gaming organization needs to follow to prevent the potential negative effects of virtual gambling.
Gaming platform operators, software developers, and all other companies that have something to do with arranging a virtual gaming experience need to practice responsible gambling. This gives people a chance to enjoy a positive gaming environment and avoid negative effects.
When my colleagues and I were creating our independent review platform, responsible gambling was the top criteria we used to evaluate online casinos. Virtual game providers that don’t do it never appear on our lists.
What Are the Basics of Responsible Gambling?
Yes, I understand that responsible gambling sounds like a broad concept. In reality, there are specific criteria you can use to determine whether an online gambling site promotes responsible gaming.
Awareness is the pillar of responsible gambling. It’s important to communicate the nature of possible problems to the players. It can be in the form of blogs, pop-ups, “must-reads,” and anything else that can help people understand that gambling carries certain risks. If the casino advertises its services, it should contain toll-free helpline numbers.
Self-exclusion is another basic concept of responsible gambling. Online casinos should allow their users to ban themselves for several hours, days, years, or a lifetime from their gambling establishments. While this may cause the casino to lose money, it helps people keep their lives on track.
Online casinos should be focused on keeping underage gamblers out of their virtual establishment. This requires a series of steps, including extensive identity verification. Many casinos offer welcome bonuses without deposits. They need to make sure that underage players don’t take advantage of them.
Online payment protection is the next issue that requires significant attention. Players need to be sure that their money is safe at the casino. With so many fraudulent online platforms out there, it’s easy to get conned.
Besides protecting payments, responsible gambling involves creating a safe environment for all players. This is especially important for casinos that offer multiplayer games, such as poker.
Is Responsible Gambling Only for Casinos? What About Players?
Of course, responsible gambling is a joint effort. While casinos do their part, players should do theirs. That’s where casinos can also help. By educating players on how to gamble responsibly, they improve the experience for all parties involved.
For players, playing responsibly includes taking breaks, not using casinos as a source of income, and only gambling with money they can afford to lose. Today, there are many responsible players, who set limits for themselves and turn gambling into a recreational experience.
For example, a player can decide that today they are only playing for one hour and spending around $100. A casino should give them the opportunity to set such limits. This can help a person stop on time and prevent negative consequences.
Doesn’t Responsible Gambling Hurt Casino Business?
While it may seem that preventing people from spending all of their money in one day can hurt online casinos, that’s not the case. Top online casinos have many different customers and a huge variety of money-earning tactics.
Reliable gaming platforms earn their money honestly by providing responsible recreational options. They don’t need people with gambling addictions to become their clients.
Who Is at Risk of Developing a Gambling Problem?
Many people are at risk of becoming addicted to gambling. You may never know about this problem in advance. A person starts playing, and everything seems fine. Then, with time, their loved ones or friends notice changes in behavior.
It can be nearly impossible to predict how a person will react to a gambling environment. That’s why all gambling platforms should be prepared to help people control their gaming experience.
What If a Person Knows They Have a Gambling Problem? How Can They Get Help?
People who realize that they have a gambling problem have already taken a major step toward improving their lives. The national problem gambling hotline is 1-800-522-4700. They help people 24/7/365 and ensure full confidentiality.
Speaking to someone who understands the problem can be highly productive for the player. Meanwhile, this hotline can also help people whose loved ones are struggling with gambling issues.
Overall, the negative connotation of gambling is something that has a long history. Convincing people that responsible gambling is a new reality may take some time. Thankfully, more and more virtual gaming platforms are adopting responsible gambling features that go beyond the standard requirements.
I believe that in a few years, we can change the way people look at online casinos and their benefits.