Online Casinos Aim To Reduce Underage And Problem Gambling.
Over 100 top online casinos sent their management representatives to London this week for the second annual training course in responsible gambling held by eCOGRA (eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) and the G4 responsible gaming specialist group.
The representatives all received a salute from the G4 course leaders Thomas Nilsson and Rob t'Hondt, who have been reviewing responsible gaming measures implemented at the online casinos that have the eCOGRA “Play It Safe” seal. And they have been teaching them the complexities of handling people with problem gambling.
“It is amazing what you have achieved in implementing practical Responsible Gaming measures at your companies in the year that has passed since our first training course with eCOGRA, and we are proud to be associated with your achievements and the respect for customers that this indicates.” stated t'Hondt, “Regular training and review sessions are now a part of our association with eCOGRA online casinos and poker rooms, and we look forward to continued close interaction in the future. Your commitment to Responsible Gaming has entailed expense and hard work, but this is an investment that will improve rewards for both your customers and yourselves in the years ahead. Your companies are setting respected standards in a stabilizing market, and we look forward to further progress in the coming year.”
Swedish psychologist Thomas Nilsson told the group that recent surveys involving 10,000 gamblers had shown some increases in the incidence of female problem gamblers among the approximately 2 percent of gamblers who had experienced problems. Men and women problem gamblers had different preferences in gambling - whilst men leaned toward games involving both skill and luck such as poker and blackjack, females were more inclined toward slots, keno and bingo. The Canadian Problem Gambling Index (CPGI) as a self-appraisal test for gamblers who suspect they may be developing a problem was being endorsed by a growing number of users, he revealed.
Nilsson said that international jurisdictions and responsible gaming bodies were closely following the development and consultations on the UK Gambling Act, as it was likely that the final UK regulations on responsible gambling would influence many regulators.
Delegates had a busy two days reviewing identification techniques, problem gambler motivations and characteristics, practical procedures and interventions in problem gambling issues, and role-playing exercises using the techniques on the course agenda. A notable feature of the course was the opportunity for delegates to exchange ideas, procedures and opinions on best practice approaches to effective Responsible Gaming.
eCOGRA CEO Andrew Beveridge said that new eGAP standards had been introduced during the year, and that eCOGRA intended to raise the industry bar through the practical implementation and use of Responsible Gaming strategies at “Play It Safe” seal venues.
“Apart from the commercial imperative of operating in a responsible and caring manner, we have a moral obligtion to do something concrete when it comes to problem gambling, and we can stop any negative perceptions by our best practice standards and actions,” he said. “There are few, if indeed any online gambling companies that can now match the measures that you have put in place, and we hope that this leadership position will continue.”