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Showing results for tags 'responsible gambling'.

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  1. Some gamblers have a list of superstitions and create habits around these as they believe it will increase their odds. The truth is that whether you believe in lucky charms or cross your fingers before clicking spin, your probability of winning doesn’t change. Yes, some games have better odds than others, and certain online casino games allow players to use their skills and increase their chance to win, but the one certainty in gambling is that the house always wins. That being said, there are approaches you can take to improve your experience and minimise your risk. Navigate your gambling activities according to the best and worst times to wager, as the wisest of gamblers do. Let’s explore when it is safe to place bets and when you should rather watch your favourite series. To Bet or Not to Bet? That is the Question! One way to approach gambling is to consider whether it’s the best or worst time to make a wager. An important deciding factor here is whether you have access to licensed and regulated online casinos. When the answer to this is yes, the following points can direct your decision. Good Times To Bet: ✓ You Have Money You Can Afford to Lose Thanks to the golden rule mentioned earlier, the only time it makes sense to gamble is when you have money you can afford to lose. Always consider the house-edge rule before having a flutter, and understand that you may lose everything you bet, regardless of the game you choose. Once you are comfortable with losing the money, go ahead and pick games with better RTP ratings. With online slots, the average acceptable rating is 95% and above. Table games like blackjack have better odds, and so do other online casino games. Take a look at our gambling strategies for the best options. ✓ You Have a Budget and a Target So, you have established that you are ok with losing the money you bet, and you know which games you prefer. The trick to staying in control of gambling is to manage your bankroll effectively. This advice will come up time and again from anyone who understands sensible gambling. If you want to gamble, it must be part of your budget, and it is paramount that you stick to the budget. When you reach your spending limit, it is time to walk away. Similarly, players must have a win limit in place. If this sounds bizarre, that is probably because it seems counter-intuitive. Don’t we play casino games to win money and lots of it? Yes, but a winning streak can just as easily turn into a losing streak and players get caught up in chasing the losses. Without a win limit, the risk of losing everything becomes much more likely. A win limit makes it easier to know when to walk away. ✓ Operators Have Promotions With steps one and two in place, punters can confidently find fun games to play at the best online casinos. On affiliate sites like GamblersPick, players get information on the newest and top offers from operators available in their region. These include deposit match bonus offers and free spin offers. Depending on the time of year, it may also include tournaments with massive prizes. Use the tools at your disposal, like news articles and community updates from affiliates. If your casino of choice has an option for a newsletter, sign up. This way, you stay ahead of the best promotions and get the first option in participating. Loyalty programs often include attractive offers that improve as your membership status grows. Find the best VIP offers and take advantage of them. ✓ It’s the Holidays The holidays make people more generous, except Ebenezer Scrooge, of course, which makes it a great time for online gambling offers. Most providers have tournaments with exciting prizes to give away during the holidays. International and local celebrations often inspire software providers to release aptly themed games, which makes it so much more fun to play. With a responsible plan for managing your bankroll, there are few other times of the year where it is as much fun to gamble. Because celebrations tend to include alcohol, we suggest you continue reading this article for advice on drinking and wagering. ✓ You Are in High Spirits Because casino games vary in outcomes, gambling may sometimes feel like an emotional roller-coaster ride. For this reason, it is wise to wager only when you are in high spirits. This is simply because winning triggers positive feelings, and losing potentially does the opposite, especially when you are feeling down. When you are in a good mental space, it is easier to remain in control of your emotions throughout the win-lose ride of gambling. This empowers you to walk away when the time comes. When in a negative mindset, gambling can be a slippery slope. When players make wagers and hope the outcomes will improve their emotional state, they become susceptible to gambling harm by chasing a big win. If you are having a great day and you have responsible wagering measures in place, it is a good time to bet. If not, rather choose a different way to pass the time. Betting for the Right Reasons To have some fun To switch off for a few minutes To enjoy a game you are skilled at Don’t Bet When: ➀ You are Cash Strapped As previously mentioned, to have an enjoyable casino experience means having a well-planned budget. Therefore, if your bank balance is low or you haven’t covered all your monthly expenses yet, it is a bad time to gamble. Researchers found that those who find themselves in a financial predicament and turn to gambling as a solution or distraction are twice as likely to suffer from gambling harm. Some may think that ‘smart’ wagers can turn their situation around, and if lady luck smiles on them, the difficult times are over. In reality, there is no way of telling whether you will win or not. When in doubt, refer to step 1 of the previous section. Only gamble when you can afford to lose. ➁ You are Chasing a Loss This is easy to fall prey to when it has been an especially lucky gambling session. When we’re on a winning streak, and suddenly our luck turns, we often continue gambling hoping the tides turn again. This is where the loss and win limits become extremely helpful. Regardless of your game of choice, call it a day once you reach your loss limit. Because gambling has a way of evoking powerful emotions, limits have to be predetermined according to your budget. Do not give in to thoughts of adjusting your limits during gameplay. Take control of each gambling session by knowing your budget and limits, and stick to it. ➂ You’ve Had Too Many Drinks Let’s be honest. We are talking about online gambling, and it isn’t like you will stumble onto a casino floor from a night out at the hotel club or cocktail bar, but online gambling is accessible anywhere, anytime. Studies revealed that when gamblers use alcohol excessively or wager while intoxicated, the likelihood of getting themselves into a financial pickle is quite high. The well-documented fact that alcohol and other narcotics impair our ability to make reasonable decisions is a guiding factor. If you are planning to let your hair down by having a few drinks, leave the gambling for another day. ➃ You’ve Been Gambling For Too Long Gambling is meant to be a fun pastime and should not take time away from important areas in your life. Unless you are a professional poker player, it is advisable to use time limits. Many operators have responsible gambling tools that can help players with this. Use the time limit tool to ensure you don’t lose track of time. A healthy gambling regime comprises limits for spending, winning, losing, and time. Whichever one shows up first is your cue to walk away. Reasonable time limits depend on the game you choose to play. Those with quick or instant results like online slots, video poker, craps, and the like can quickly become dangerous games if played for too long. Strategy games like live blackjack and live poker require players to pay attention while applying their skills, and once exhaustion kicks in, poor decision making follows. Set your time limit and end your session once the buzzer signals. ➄ You Have a History of Compulsive Gambling If you have ever been diagnosed by a professional or show any signs of gambling addiction, there is no good or right time to gamble. The best approach for anyone who displays signs of gambling compulsion is to stay away from all forms of gambling through self-exclusion programs and seek counselling for support on the road to recovery. If you or anyone you know is having a difficult time with responsible gambling, reach out to your national gambling support program. UK players have BeGambleAware, GamCare, and GameStop to turn to, and players from other jurisdictions can contact their local health systems for guidance. Betting for the Wrong Reasons Chasing a Loss To make up for a short To turn your luck around To Improve Your Mood Healthy Habits At the end of the day, gambling must be a fun activity used for entertainment and not to make money, unless you are Phil Ivey. The most responsible approach to wagering includes the above measures. Focus on making these habits and walk away when the game isn’t fun anymore.
  2. Despite higher inflation, less favourable lending conditions, fiscal policies, elevated inflation and political uncertainty, Latin America’s gambling industry is vast and growing at an alarming rate. With the GDP rate forecast to slow in 2022, overall moderate spending is imminent. A recent Global Games Market Report in Latin America has shown, the mobile games market has generated over $3,5 billion in revenue via consumer spending in 2021 and projections show an increase to an estimated $5,1 billion in 2024. Today, software providers are more focused than ever to promote safer gambling, building consumer trust and curbing gambling spending. With mobile gambling becoming more and more popular worldwide, we take an in-depth look at Latin Americans and how they feel about gambling, whether they do gamble, and what they believe safe gambling should be all about. ✓ Gambling Regulation in LATAM Not all territories are at the same stage of development regarding gambling regulation. With countries like Colombia being fully regulated, other countries such as Brazil, Argentina and Chile are still working with operators and regulators to create legal frameworks. Software providers play a key role in this process and in this blog we look at all the aspects of the issue, examining current attitudes towards gambling, perceptions of regulation, user concerns, and what they expect of operators. ✓ Guide to LATAM Gambling Market in 2022 and Beyond Playtech, a market leader in the gaming industry, is deeply committed to player protection and will go to great lengths to promote responsible gambling and enable a safe and responsible form of entertainment to reduce harmful play. They have conducted a consumer survey of 2,112 adults from four LATAM countries (Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Colombia) to explore the key issues related to responsible gambling in each territory. With each of the four countries being at a different stage of gambling regulation, it was interesting to see how opinions and statistics varied between Colombia and the governments of other countries. How Many LATAM’s Are Gambling? Creating legal frameworks that will allow online gambling companies to operate under the national rules that protect players is more important than ever before. Winning the jackpot will change your life and Latin Americans are flocking to websites to wager a bet, hoping to win big. Mor Weizer CEO, Playtech, commented: “It is essential the industry harnesses the technology and tools available to put player protection and player trust at the centre of any customer experience.” How many Latinos are betting online? This graph will answer that question. And it may surprise you. Interestingly, 68% of Columbian participants in the study were active gamblers while Chile only identified 40% active gamblers. For a country that is not fully regulated, 40% is still a very high percentage. The question is, what are the reasons ‌the remaining 60% do not gamble? ✓ Why Don’t Some Gamble? Playtech asked the same group of 2112 adults this question and gave them a few options to choose from. Are they worried about getting addicted, legalities, immorality, or are they simply not interested? The results were astounding: The majority, in this case, the 60% in Chile that were not active gamblers, detailed their reasons for not gambling as that they were not really interested (40%). This coincided with the 33% average in the region, although in Brazil (20%) this was to a lesser extent. In a big way, people who do not gamble feel worried they may lose all their money or get addicted to gambling or do not know enough to believe it is safe to gamble online. These graphs show that non-gamblers may have the inclination or intention of placing a bet but do not feel they have enough information on how to do so securely. Across all four regions, only 13% of consumers say they do not trust online gambling companies, with Argentina (17%) being the exception, 10% do not know the exact reason, only 4% are concerned that it is illegal and 3% believe that it is immoral. The top reasons that Latin Americans do not gamble relate to lack of interest, not enough knowledge, potential addiction problems, and lack of trust. Focus On Columbia Columbia was the first Latin American country to introduce nationwide European-style online gambling regulation. In 2015, they introduced the most relevant amendments, and changes to the taxation regime applying to online gambling services soon followed. During the first half of 2016, the Colombian gambling authority, Coljuegos, issued secondary regulation required to complete a licensing process, which allows private operators to offer online gambling services in the country. This has obviously led to enormous growth in the Columbian online gaming sector and more informed gamblers wagering bets online. Columbia is an excellent example of the success of a regulatory framework where the state, the player and the gambling industry achieve their respective objectives. This is the perspective of Playtech, which also believe that all chains (including media companies) must make a fair profit while operating under clear and reasonable rules and abiding by regulatory requirements. ✓ How Operators Can Make Players Feel More Secure To understand how consumers think, they asked the group of Latino surveyors to tell Playtech how operators can make them feel more secure so they would be likely to bet online. They had nine options and could select as many as applied. Here they are in order of most selected answer across all territories: More information and tools for player protection More information about the gambling companies A brand/company you recognise Better information about responsible gambling Better local regulations that protect my money Better information about the legal status of gambling in my country Better information about protection Better local regulations to protect my data More famous people endorsing it Because of cultural, economical and behavioural differences in the Latin American market, ‌operators have to think about specific regional strategies, as the response given in each of the surveyed countries has to be analysed and approached individually. See the graph below for a more detailed overview of the response in each individual territory. Operators can do a lot more to promote their brands and need to emphasise gamblers’ safety. Having more in-depth knowledge about different companies’ offerings, track records and reputations is vital to consumers and presents not only an opportunity for individual operators but also for the industry to gain overall National consumer trust. ✓ Regulation, Regulation, Regulation! Of those surveyed, 39% said they expect better local regulations to protect players’ money and also their personal data. This was most important for Colombians (44%) and Brazilians (42%) but ‌will ultimately lead to a safer gambling environment for all LATAM consumers. Operators that comply with regulations will provide many benefits to the gambling industry: Prevent fraud Prevent money laundering, Safeguard data, Provide education about responsible gaming Identify and support players with gambling problems Playtech believes that if they do not give consumers safe and regulated online gambling platforms to choose from, customers may look to the unregulated environment, exposing them to significant risks related to their data and money. ✓ Identifying And Supporting Players With Gambling Problems It was clear from Playtech’s 2020 annual report that ‌the pandemic has led people to stay home for long periods of time, which led to an increased risk of problem gambling. The survey results show that consumers would welcome tools and measures to detect players with gambling problems and see this as an important factor in promoting responsible gambling. The group was presented with a few scenarios in what they believe are the main factors that can lead to problem gambling. These were the top six chosen options: Borrowing money to play Feeling restless or irritable when you are not gambling Chasing losses Trying to control, cut back or stop gambling, without success Lying to family Trying to control, cut back or stop gambling, without success Borrowing money to play was the main characteristic that was identified as problematic gambling behaviour, peaking in Colombia (66%), followed by Argentina (65%), Brazil (64%), and Chile (61%), and this should be seen as the main red flag for operators to consider. Here are the results as identified by each territory: Playtech is committed to solving gambling problems and has presented the industry with Playtech Protect, a free tool for all operators in the industry that offers secure gambling tools and data analysis technology, backed with 20 years of experience and supporting more than 30 regulated markets. They also provide technology, online training and software from Playtech Academy (its internal learning platform) to charities and nonprofit organisations. This includes those working on safer gambling research, education and mental health issues, to enable them to deliver their content and services remotely. Playtech believes that all humans are different and it is important to analyse the combination of different variables rather than relying on simple thresholds, such as money gambled or time spent. They do not rely on superficial data as it might result in some risky players not being intercepted or, vice-versa, could flag people with no problems. They aim to know the individual symptoms to also enable a personalised intervention on the customer at risk, based on their specific risk factor. ✓ Committed To Promote Safer Gambling But what do Latinos believe should be done to promote responsible gambling? When asked, 55% of the respondents believe they should provide clear information on their websites about problematic behaviour in gambling and betting. In Brazil, it was 62%, in Colombia, it reached 55% and in Chile, 52%, and in Argentina half of the respondents (50%) agreed with this. Playtech has seen key industry players announce commitments on responsible gambling but still believe that ongoing collaboration is lacking. “Similarly, there should be more initiatives focused on responsible gambling and raising standards, including a variety of stakeholders such as those with lived experience, the financial sector, software developers, debt advice organisations, and treatment centres.” Across all territories, Latin Americans in this survey agreed that online gambling would be less harmful if stricter responsible gambling regulations and guidelines were adopted. Why? Because they believe it would be safer as gamblers would be more protected. Playtech is and will always be a company committed to player wellbeing and raising industry standards. Their strategic plan is to help communicate the importance of responsible gambling in newly regulated markets, especially those developing in South America.
  3. Responsible Gambling is not a new concept in the world of wagering. Sadly, there is still some stigma attached to gambling disorders and for this reason, many problem gamblers don’t ask for help. When referring to safer gambling in the industry, we often talk about the practices put in place by gaming providers to prevent gambling harm and addiction. Just as the gambling industry evolves, so player protection protocols must adapt and flow into more effective outcomes. Thankfully, technological advances and scientific studies make this possible. Technology helps gambling companies to keep their finger on the pulse of the high-speed market and studies show them how to apply the technologies to best prevent harmful behaviour. The massive growth curve in online gambling throughout the past two years means that platform providers have their hands full. Long-term social effects of the pandemic may expose vulnerable players to greater risk and lead to new occurrences of problem gambling and addiction. Industry leaders create platforms to share best practices and global regulators constantly take steps toward more aware and effective player protection. These tendencies make it clear that there is a sincere hunger for improvement in this regard. So how has responsible gaming changed and what more can be done as stakeholders align practises with the new normal? The Evolution of Responsible Gambling The saying goes: We don’t know what we don’t know. Moving into a conscious state has various levels. The first is unconscious incompetence. Although gambling and the concept of player protection are not a new thing, online gambling and efficacious protection protocols have evolved over their brief existence. Industry leaders learn as more evidence becomes available, which shapes and improves the topic. The first type of protection method came as prohibition, but lawmakers soon discovered that this didn’t keep citizens from gambling illegally. Black market gambling is one of the biggest problems for gambling harm, therefore governments sought safer approaches and started regulating games. The gambling industry boomed, and casinos were thriving, while encouraging players to gamble more, place bigger bets, and stay longer. It became apparent that these bottom-line drivers were enabling gambling-related harm, and the government stepped in with responsible gambling policies. The establishing of national gambling addiction organisations where at-risk players can register themselves was one of the steps taken. This process used to be a manual one where people had to visit the organisation to register. Registered gamblers would opt for self-exclusion and counselling offered by the government. With the tremendous accessibility of online gambling and technology that allows for mobile gaming, the risks and exposure are much higher. Lawmakers recognised this, as did many of the biggest casino operators, and this brought forth greater social responsibility practices. Today, features empower players to take control of their deposits and the time they spend playing. Operators use AI to encourage better gambling choices and to keep track of player patterns. Although gambling harm instances have decreased, industry leaders seek to eradicate it and we must learn from history to prevent recurring cycles of harm. Prevention is Better than Cure Having the right information allows for informed choices, and this is one of the major driving forces behind current safer gambling practices. A fundamental truth is that the ultimate decision to gamble lies with the player, and this is where the industry aims to change behaviour. Awareness campaigns throughout the world attempt to educate the public on gambling harm. Some are more effective than others. Recent studies in Australia revealed positive messages relate to greater behavioural changes and encourage gamblers to make use of the tools at their disposal. The study also exposed that these types of messages opened the stage for healthy discussions on gambling addiction instead of fuelling the stigma attached to it. Other regions approach their duty of care from the premise of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ or by making certain decisions for the players. Examples of these would be advertisement bans and deposit caps. The fine line between protecting players and pushing them toward unregulated sites is where regulators and providers need to be mindful. Different Regional Requirements An ongoing challenge faced by regulated operators is the varying requirements of the global igaming market. Different regulators have different requirements, with some countries having different rules for each of their regions. GamblersPick has a great tool for players to familiarise themselves with the relevant laws in their area and if gambling is legal. Playing with a regulated provider is the first step to responsible gambling. Africa - Most of Africa is still a grey market. However, punters in South Africa can enjoy legal and safe online gambling at certain sites. Their Gambling Act of 1996 has guidelines for operators and by choosing a licensed platform, players can wager with peace of mind. Asia - Although the largest percentage of the world’s population lives on this massive continent, most Asian countries either prohibit online gambling or restrict it in some manner. Asian punters choose offshore sites, exposing them to unscrupulous providers. Macau, the gambling capital of the world, is the exception and Hong Kong is less strict than the rest of China. Europe - Europe and the UK are the forerunners with regulated online gambling and many countries on the continent offer safe gambling for their citizens. The UK government launched a gambling act reform in 2020 to update their policies, paying specific attention to player protection policies. Many of the European Member States have their own regulatory bodies like The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and others. Middle East - The dominant religion in the area is Islam, which forbids gambling and, therefore, regulated casinos are not available here. Israel is working on legislation and should they be successful, it may be possible for Israeli punters to enjoy a safe flutter. North America - Throughout the past two years, a few US states opened regulated gambling markets, with sports betting being the focus. Gradually more are coming on board and adding casino licences. Canada also does regional licensing, so some areas have regulated options and others allow their players to use offshore providers. South America - Online gambling is available in most parts of South America, but only Peru and Argentina offer locally licensed platforms. Venezuela and Brazil have anti-gambling laws, but the rest of the continent’s players can make use of offshore licensed casinos. Oceania - Gambling is an extremely popular pastime in Australia and New Zealand. It is prohibited to offer online gambling to Aussies and Kiwis, but countless providers from offshore regions offer services here. Players must take care to choose regulated sites for their own safety. Scandinavia - Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark offer online gambling regulations and punters can enjoy safe wagering through their respective authorities. Svenska Spel, the Swedish state-owned company, recently implemented blanket deposit limits to curb gambling harm. Safer Gambling Tools Responsible gambling tools are requirements by legislators and if platform providers don’t comply, they may lose their licence to offer gambling services in the region. These operational protocols should aim at Prevention and Intervention, Education, Treatment and Support. The latter mostly falls on the government’s side of the fence and platforms focus on the first two. Independent organisations such as GamCare and BeGambleAware provide guidance and support for players and providers. Prevention becomes tangible practice through regulations like limiting exposure through gambling advertisements and marketing material. This is important not only for at-risk gamblers but also for children. Marketing material may not display claims to encourage problem gambling, like paying debt with gambling, nor should it make promises of gains. Sign-up processes must be ironclad in preventing underage gambling. Therefore, the platforms need to identify their players adequately. Platforms offer players the chance to set limits on their profiles. These help punters to stay in touch with how much time and money they spend while gambling. Most regulators ban credit gambling or betting with borrowed money. Providers utilise data programming and AI technology to recognise problematic patterns, and this is where the next step becomes imperative. Intervention is necessary when individuals show signs of at-risk gambling and providers have dedicated and trained teams to deal with these situations. Here, players will have the option to take the help before the problem gets out of hand and make use of other tools at their disposal, like taking a break for a while. The gambling community works together to educate punters on signs of gambling addiction. This comes as banners on sites, messages while playing, campaigns that include widely published marketing material, and research to improve it all. Transparency is key to successful player protection. Therefore, operators need to make their terms crystal clear and offer them in the region’s dominant languages. If gambling harm already exists, government bodies, regulators and NGOs provide players and affected parties with various channels for treatment and support to overcome gambling addiction. Be the Master of Your Gambling Universe At the end of the day, the initiatives and best intentions of providers and governments are wasted if players don’t make the right choice. Gambling addiction is not a myth, nor are the risks of problem gambling. So, what can you do to protect yourself and those around you from gambling harm? ✓ 1. Plan and Stick to a Budget Knowing what your financial abilities are is key to managing your wagers well. Only bet what you can lose and don’t neglect the budget you set for yourself, regardless of how much you win. Walking away as a winner means withdrawing your prize and utilising it elsewhere. ✓ 2. Use Limit Tools from Providers Once you know what your budget is, set your limits accordingly. The devils in the detail, so specify daily, weekly, and monthly limits. Time limits are important as well. Enjoying a flutter here and there is great, but it should not take away from other quality time that enriches your life. Set a time limit for each session and stick to it. ✓ 3. Ask for Help All regulated regions have hotlines that their citizens can call to find help. If you worry that your gambling is on a slippery slope or know of someone who needs help, reach out to organisations such as GamStop. Here, you will find people geared to listen and help with experience in the field. Improve Together As industry leaders work to improve player protection protocols and find innovative ways to educate players on their choices, the online gambling world becomes more fun. The more aware we become of where legislation and behaviours can improve, the faster we can break down myths and stigmas that surround gambling addiction.
  4. As human beings, we are remarkably resilient creatures that can adapt and evolve to survive anything served to us. 2020 quite simply proves this fact and provides yet another historical showcase of how we manage to take a bitter scenario and create a fabulous silver lining from it. The COVID-19 pandemic was certainly one of the worst global disasters we have had to face in recent history, yet we have managed to adapt and become even stronger because of it. One of our greatest assets during the past year has been our push for global digitalisation. Our love for technology has worked tremendously in our favour and has made lockdown and social distancing so much easier. In fact, 2020 is a defining moment in the refinement of the digital realm. Great advancements were made to cater to the scenario, such as improvements in online shopping, digitised payment solutions, advancements in live chat technology, and so much more. The effects of the pandemic challenged us to find a new normal that could pander to our needs as social beings. Fans of online gambling have experienced a similar renaissance in response to these worldwide improvements in working, living, and playing online. In search of our very own silver lining, we have discovered 5 ways in which the online gambling industry has become safer, more secure, and more popular over the last 24 months. Newly Regulated Regions Many countries previously opposed to online gambling have seen reason when it comes to digital gaming and recognise its positive impact on regulated economies. While land-based gambling establishments closed in various countries due to lockdown protocols, online casinos have taken over and provided socially distancing residents with sought-after ways to amuse themselves. Did you know? More states in the USA are looking to legalise online gambling at the moment. These include regions like California, Connecticut, Indiana, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York. As more countries and regions move to legalise iGaming, it only improves the security of the citizens in those areas. Many players gamble without the security and protection of regulation, so steps to regulate the market are set to create a safer environment for all punters. Thriving Business Where various businesses were forced to close their doors to limit social interaction, digital companies like online casinos have had the privilege of remaining in full operation over the lockdown periods, which has had a hugely positive effect on the overall market. Quick Fact: According to the Online Gambling Market Report 2020-2025, COVID-19 has led to a sudden rise in online gambling revenues, with some reports citing a 67% increase. An influx of people has moved over to the digital gambling realms, as it presents one of the few forms of entertainment available to adults in an environment where social distancing and staying at home is the societal norm. Active Approach Towards Legislation Thankfully, regulators recognised the need for rapid changes to gambling legislation. Laws that would have taken months or years to pass before, were passed quickly to cater to the sudden growth in popularity of internet gambling. Did you know? Official figures show that online gambling has emerged as one of the most popular pass times during the pandemic alongside online retail, food delivery, and subscription services. It’s only natural that its infrastructure would adapt to keep up with its growth. Various regions are in the process of passing laws to establish viable iGaming markets to ride the gravy train to wealth. There is much to recover and make up for, especially with land-based casinos only operating at limited capacity right now. A Proponent for Responsible Gambling The sudden attention of the masses in the online gambling sphere was a positive catalyst for governments and gambling commissions to improve their oversight and increase their focus on maintaining a responsible gambling environment. With much more time to play casino games, it was evident that enhanced responsible gambling protocols were needed to protect the playing public. Regulators in Spain and Britain were among the first to increase their safety protocols. Some of these security measures have included lowering the betting limits, the introduction of enhanced verification measures, and restrictions on marketing. Quick Fact: Spain has been the most heavy-handed with its laws on gambling marketing and has recently passed laws to prohibit sports teams from being sponsored by gambling institutions in the region. Some gaming commissions have limited the types of bonuses and promotions allowed at online casinos with certain regions putting a hold on such offerings. At the end of the day, these improved protocols ensure a safer gaming experience, despite the fact that old-school gamblers have not been in favour of these security enhancements. New Betting Avenues Although it is an online betting practice, sports betting has not faired as well as online casino entertainment because of the banning of live sports events. While football has since made a return, along with many other prominent sports, their initial absence from the scene caused bookmakers to become more innovative. Now that sport is back, there are far more options for the public to enjoy. Egaming became extremely popular thanks to the global lockdown. More and more people took to the exciting video gaming world to pass the time away. Of course, competitive protagonists found it the perfect platform to stage competitions and tournaments. This in turn provided an opportunity for sportsbooks to expand their repertoire and add new gaming options into their libraries – something that has been well-needed to this point anyway. Quick Fact: While you may think that games like FIFA Soccer would have ranked highly in the Esporting arena, the number one game for total winnings in 2020 is held by a shooter game. ‘Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’ forked out $14.75 million in winnings to its players last year! Esports is only gaining momentum and is an area of interest that needs watching over the next few years. Heightened regulation may be needed in this arena to protect under-aged players from getting caught up in the betting aspect of the market. Round-Up It’s always good to find the positive in any negative situation. The iGaming industry is one of the only markets that can safely do this when looking back over the last two years.
  5. Great Britain has been one of the leading countries in ratifying and regulating the online gambling industry. The work done in the UK to show the world that it is a viable revenue source for the government, an incredible local job creator and a safe form of entertainment has been invaluable in normalising the pastime. “Safer Gambling Week is a cross-industry initiative to promote safer gambling in the United Kingdom and Ireland” However, as with any activity that offers a potential reward, both emotionally and financially, there are those who may need assistance in not letting it rule their lives and this is where initiatives like Safer Gambling Week come into play. Get Involved with Safer Gambling Week 2020 Safer Gambling Week 2020 is live now, the forum runs from 19-25 November 2020, participating websites and local venues will do a deep dive into the tools, systems, support vehicles and best practices that will assist gamblers, their families and staff members of gambling-related companies to recognise and respond to compulsive gambling behaviours. The key areas it aims to create awareness around are: How to gamble safely both on and offline The tools which are available to help you gamble safely all year Trusted sources of information and support It is important to note that when it comes to addressing gambling it is not online land-based and online casinos which are involved in Safer Gambling Week 2020 but also amusement arcades, bingo halls and local bookmakers. Anywhere you can gamble, regardless of the payout potential or size of the stake, is a place where gambling can translate from fun into addiction and therefore, they are all involved in creating a safer gambling environment for you. What Can You Expect During Safer Gambling Week? The team at SG 2020 have taken a multi-pronged approach to address the issue of responsible gambling and creating awareness of the need many players face through the following activations: Key venues are undertaking special events during SG Week 2020 Participating online gambling websites are promoting SG Week 2020 with banner ads and pop-ups Land and online organisations will be promoting the week on social media Supporting organisations, such as Facebook, are promoting key messages and awareness materials key support organisations like the National Gambling Helpline, GamCare and YGAM are running training sessions and have increased support teams to handle increased support volumes The organisers of the outreach program have also designed and distributed an array of promotional materials which cut to the core of the issue Safer Gambling Week is trying to combat. This includes highlight such talking points as: How and what to ask about gambling behaviours Five key behaviours of safer gambling Details of where and how to obtain the information and help you need The hope is that by creating open and honest dialogue around these conversation points it will lead to the recognition of potentially harmful behaviours and the ability to take the steps needed to get help. Do Your Part to Promote Healthy Gambling Habits In addition to providing expert workshops and training opportunities in conjunction with safe gambling organisations such as GamCare and YGAM, Safer Gambling Week also aims to encourage individuals on the ground to share the message of the program with those in their sphere of influence. They have made it incredibly easy to get involved with very little effort through the creation of a number of ready to use infographics such for posting on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Below are a few examples of what they have on offer: With their insight into the power of video on social media they have also created a number of shareable video clips which you can share on your preferred platform. They have uploaded files that meet the required dimensions and file size for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram… but that can be used on other platforms such as TikTok or even shared via email. UK Safer Gambling Support Resources Understanding the urgency and immediacy of the support problem gamblers require the Safer Gambling Website offers three telephone numbers for you to call any time of the day or night: In Great Britain call 0808 8020 133 (free call) In Ireland call 1800 936 725 (Freephone) In Northern Ireland call 08000 886 725 (Freephone) If you are not a resident of the UK and find yourself in need of someone to speak to about your gambling needs, please visit our Problem Gambling page for more options and information.
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