The legalization of gambling is an integrated development process embracing an entire economic sector. As with any other sector, it provides for systematic work in various directions. And while there are a lot of frequent discussions on regulatory and tax issues, the issue of social responsibility to players, despite its importance and relevance, is not brought up very often.
Social responsibility in the field of gambling is as much a market component as licensing terms, financial monitoring or taxation. Without it, it is impossible to imagine the gambling market in a civilized country. After all, it is efforts in the field of social responsibility that ensure mutual understanding between the State, society and gambling operators.
At the same time, the implementation of social responsibility initiatives requires close interaction between these three forces. The State is responsible for creating and maintaining the legal framework and monitoring compliance with the responsible gambling principles. Business, in turn, offers innovative methods of ensuring social responsibility to players and combating gambling addiction. The public uses such tools and evaluates their efficiency.
How does social responsibility in the field of gambling manifest itself in Ukraine today? I would name three key components:
1. Register of gambling addicts. In accordance with the relevant law, the Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (CRGL) has created a register of persons with limited access to gambling establishments and gambling. When gambling addicts are included in this register, they are not allowed to gamble. At the same time, the player may either independently restrict their access to gambling by submitting a relevant request to CRGL or a legal gambling operator, or be limited after the request is submitted by their closest relatives.
2. Player identification system. The regulator is trying to make the player identification procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Business, in turn, also develops innovative technical solutions that will prevent minors and gambling addicts from gambling.
3. Socially responsible gambling means not only monitoring the gambler’s access to gambling, but also the way in which gambling is positioned and advertised. The dominance of chaotic gambling advertising in the online and offline segments hampers the development of a civilized gambling market, as well as the perception of gambling as, first of all, entertainment, and not a way of making money.
That is why today the requirements for gambling advertising are being standardized. Also, legal gambling representatives within the UGC are developing their own memorandum on gambling advertising, which will integrate the interests of the market, State and society.
UGC, being a specialized gambling association, also decided to do its fair share in building a socially responsible gambling market in Ukraine, and last week we started providing free legal counselling on combating gambling addiction. If you or your family members need help, you can seek advice by contacting us by e-mail, or by filling in a simple questionnaire on our website.
Anton Kuchukhidze, Chairman of the Ukrainian Gambling Council, exclusively for the “Ukrainian News”