In my previous blog, I already mentioned the role of social responsibility of the gambling business in development of a civilized gambling market in Ukraine. Given the current interest shown in this topic, I would like to address in more detail its key component, that is, the responsible gambling principles. Compliance with such principles is a crucial factor for mutually beneficial interaction between the business, government and society within the legal framework.
Responsible gambling principles are a simple set of rules establishing a framework for interaction between the gambling business, society and the State. Reaching beyond this framework is unacceptable for legal gambling operators and calls in question their desire to perform one of the most important functions of any business, a social function.
And despite the seeming simplicity of these rules, their observance implies systematic legislative work and efficient performance of the control function by the State. In turn, business is required to invest heavily in technical, operational and software solutions.
In order to understand why adhering to simple rules may become a daunting task, let us take a look at each of the 8 responsible gambling principles for online and offline gambling.
1. Player identification is a mandatory requirement of specialized legislation, according to which offline and online gambling operators must identify players and prevent minors, gambling addicts, and other vulnerable categories of players from gambling.
2. Refraining from the encouragement of loss. Gambling operators must refrain from any form of encouragement of gamblers’ losses. That is, they should not provide additional incentives for players to continue gambling after they lose, by providing bonuses or other incentives.
3. Restricting the participation of gambling addicts. Gambling operators must prevent players included in the register of gambling addicts (people with gambling addiction) from gambling.
4. Prevention of the spread of gambling addiction. Gambling operators must publish information, marketing and other materials informing on the rules of the game, the chances of winning, the responsibilities of the gambling establishment and players, as well as the risks of gambling addiction.
5. Self-control and self-restraint. This principle obliges gambling operators to provide players with the right to exercise some self-restraint in gambling, as well as to limit the amount of money they are willing to spend on the game. At the same time, operators also must assist players in going through the self-restraint procedure, if the latter were willing to do so.
6. Raising awareness among players. Players must have unlimited access to information about the operator’s license, the rules of the game in a gambling establishment or information on the online platform, as well as any other similar information.
7. Staff briefing. The employees working at gambling establishments should be instructed on the rules of behaviour with people showing signs of gambling addiction, as well as other categories of players who are not allowed or have restricted access to gambling.
8. Social interaction. This principle obliges gambling operators to promote in every possible way the development of the socially responsible gambling business.
Compliance with the above rules is time-consuming and requires that gambling operators make substantial investment. Given that the gambling industry in Ukraine is still developing, both the State and business have yet to find effective solutions to ensure compliance with the responsible gambling principles throughout the market.
Anton Kuchukhidze, Chairman of the Ukrainian Gambling Council, exclusively for the “Ukrainian News”