Responsible Gaming

Responsible Gaming Guide

Responsible Gaming Guide

Online gaming operators who provide services globally (and in regulated environments) do so under licenses granted by their home jurisdictions. While the qualifications vary from one jurisdiction to another, the more stringent regulatory models require operators to utilize programs and/or systems to ensure player protection. However a number of operators of their own accord implement rigorous responsible gaming measures that often meet or exceed those requested by regulators.

The main goals include:

Preventing underage play (2+2 checks* make it easier to facilitate self-exclusion and verify age of majority, as players need to produce credit cards and answer detailed online questionnaires) *2+2 checks are standard in the industry. In order to open an account an applicant must provide two pieces of identification that can be easily verified in standard registries such as a voter list or driver license database.

Allowing players to establish spending limits

Electronically tracking every financial transaction and keystroke to enable events to be easily re-created/reported (unlike in land-based casinos)

Identifying potential problem gamblers, make those in need aware of available programs, and otherwise promote responsible gaming

Implementing appropriate Know-Your-Customer (K-Y-C) procedures in an effort to prevent fraud or other systemic abuses

Ensuring fair play through regular audits of random number generators (RNGs)

Ensuring system integrity (and as a result fair play) by conducting regular, comprehensive system audits

Identifying, preventing and/or reporting suspected money laundering
While this list is by no means exhaustive, it does highlight some of the most important measures currently employed by the more responsible online gaming operators – many of whom are OCC members.

To examine responsible gaming measures from a public policy perspective, player protection goals generally have up to five different components. To achieve goals related to these components, governments that regulate online gaming have adopted rules in each of the following categories (Internet Gambling Report, Tenth Edition):

1) Promoting responsible gambling

Set maximum wager or loss limits

  • Require the utilization of software identifying potential problem gambling by gambling patterns
  • Provide logs of play in order that players know the time spent gambling and therefore the cost
  • Provide information to players either by link or through a gateway regarding problem gambling and problem gambling programs
  • Require the utilization of a national or international database identifying and prohibiting excluded players
  • Data sharing can allow for self-exclusion policies that work across multiple sites

2) Preventing identity fraud, including access by minors

Verify the age of prospective players and do not allow access to under aged gamblers

Restrict the type of payment of winning by non-negotiable instrument only to the account holder to avoid paying unauthorized persons, such as minors

Have procedures allowing persons to voluntarily exclude themselves from participation or to set loss limits on the gaming site

Provide information to players regarding available blocking software that will allow parents to restrict access by their children

3) Protecting personal information

Require site operators to protect the personal and gambling information of its patrons and prohibit its use to encourage further gambling

4) Ensuring the integrity of games

All online house-banked games must meet minimum payback percentages to assure fairness

All online casino games must undergo a rigorous initial review and approval and periodic testing to assure that they are operating with integrity

Require the involvement of a government server in the process of generating random results for games

Require the operator to provide time reminders or for the players to take breaks after a defined length of play.

5) Detecting money laundering and other criminal activity

The publicly traded companies are also regulated by securities commissions leaving no room for criminal activity

Unlike land-based casinos, every financial transaction is electronically tracked and every key stroke is tracked and events are easily re-created/ reported

Require the operator to maintain a minimum bankroll or reserves to assure that players will have their deposits returned and any winnings paid

As an example, OCC members are required under the Ilse of Man (IOM) license to hold all player funds in a separate account that must equal or exceed the amount of all player-owned funds on deposit. This is monitored frequently by the IOM regulators