Casinos for youIt took centuries for most regions around the globe to legalise gambling, and with the online explosion in the past two years, regulators have their work cut out for them. How can operators help to keep the industry healthy and safe?
Of the topics that make headlines in the gambling industry, the least popular are ones about regulatory enforcement for non-compliant operators. This is for many reasons, but the most important is the impact it has on the industry’s reputation. Along with the poor publicity, mulish approaches to regulatory requirements motivate draconian law-making. Yet, we often see news on the topic.
Consumer protection is a big part of the compliance equation, and when operators play their part in this crucial department, gamblers and the gambling market have a lot to win. Recent enforcement proves that authorities act impartially without favouring those operators who fill bigger parts of government coffers.
Why are regulations so important, and what are operators putting on the line when they miss the mark?
Becoming a Dependable Industry
Throughout history, the gambling industry’s relationship with regulation was a complicated one, and most regions only legalised it in the past century, with some only doing so partially. Online gambling still has a way to go in many countries, with Europe having the most regulated markets of all the continents.
This complicated relationship stems from the potential harms involved with games of chance and the fact that opportunists target lucrative parts of the economy with fraudulent schemes. Those countries that regulate their gambling industry do so to provide a safer space for their citizens to enjoy a flutter.
Although gamblers can legally enjoy their favourite casino games at many reputable online casinos that have been around for the greater part of the 21st century, these operators sometimes fall short of expectations. Understandably, managing a global gambling business is no mean feat. However, customer safety and sustainable business operations should be the priority.
Dropping the Ball
Sometimes regulation comes across as unnecessary controls, but the end goal for all regulators remains player protection through responsible licensees in their region. Yet, the main areas where operators fail are anti-money laundering (AML) safeguards and player protection protocols.
Most enactments from the UK Gambling Commission, Swedish Spelinspektionen, Dutch Kansspelautoriteit, and other leading regulators include player protection and AML failings. Usually, investigations uncover details like no source of income requested from players who deposit tens to hundreds of thousands in local currency or operators leaving players who display risky patterns to their own devices.
When operators drop the ball in these areas, it exposes their business to become a vessel for money laundering and terrorist funding. Moreover, poor player protection service hurts the business at its core, as well as the community. The eventual result of continued slip-ups leads to increased regulatory controls, societal harm, and decreased profits.
The Sum Total
For those who contributed to establishing a legal gambling market, the price is clear. When gambling operators follow the rules and align business practices with regulatory goals, we can continue wagering safely. Further investment can aid gambling businesses in setting standards in this area while helping to improve the industry.
If regulatory compliance improves a business’ reputation, it attracts players and builds trust. Safe customers become loyal, and this builds a solid bottom line. When operators play their part, everyone wins.
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