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How to Improve Consumer Protection in Online Gambling

by ReadyBetGo Editor

Online gambling bears a lot of risk to the players as compared to land-based gambling. Some of these risks include identity theft, loss of privacy and volatility in digital currency, potentially leadingReadyBetGo EditorThere are occasions when we here at ReadyBetGo want to bring you interesting facts about the gambling industry  When something catches our eye, we will publish it for your enjoyment. 
  to massive losses. However, each party is responsible for averting this problem, including industry regulators, software providers, and gamblers themselves.

Laws governing the online gambling environment allow regulators to monitor irregular behavior and guard against bet sizes and price volatility. The providers are obliged to inform customers about their protection tools and their rights to be protected.

When consumers are empowered with protection tools, they can minimize their risk exposure and prevent issues, such as problem gambling, from escalating. One of such tools is self-exclusion, where clients can deactivate their accounts or temporarily close them if they notice any suspicious activity. Players are also enabled to set their deposit limits not to exceed a particular amount when placing bets.

In case you want to guard against too many losses, you can also set a loss limit so that you walk away when you hit that figure. Better yet, software providers such as Euro Games Technology (EGT) offer players free slots to continue playing when real money limit has been reached. These slots are also mobile compatible, allowing you to play while on the go and EGT casinos offer impressive welcome bonuses and ongoing promotions. Providers also issue customers with online statements to help them track their expenditure. All these tools are designed to help create a better gambling environment.

Voluntary Uptake of Consumer Protection Tools is Too Low

In several survey studies, many gamblers will acknowledge that tools such as timeouts, activity statements, and deposit limits are helpful. On the other hand, the number of people who use them is significantly low. A study by Svenska Spel, on Social Responsibility Tools in Online Gambling revealed that 42% of the customers rated self-exclusion as useful while 70% rated deposit limits as helpful. Surprisingly, these huge figures do not translate into actual users. Countries such as Australia and the UK record very high respondents but few existing customers use these options..

How Effective Are These Tools?

There is no clear answer on whether these tools are practical since there is little methodological research in the field. Some of the tools appear to be effective but to a limited degree. Studies show that deposit limits can help gamblers manage their risks. This is because it reduces the amount of money they gamble, the betting frequency, and the days they spend on the internet while gambling.

There is scanty information regarding timeouts and activity statements apart from the results from a few surveys that show gamblers have a positive perception of them. There are concerns about activity statements which also feature lost bets. The fear is that this could trigger players to chase their losses.

How to Increase the Uptake of Consumer Protection Measures Online

Despite the lack of data on the efficiency of consumer protection technologies, the global betting population, as well as casino technology, continues to develop every day. As a result, providers should place a premium on customer protection.

Below are some of the measures that will promote consumer uptake of protection measures:

Direct messaging- one of the motivating factors that will boost uptake of the tools is to influence behavior through direct messaging programs that will encourage gamblers to set limits. In-account messages are always more effective compared to emails. The support personnel can step up their efforts to send messages directly to their customers.

Social media campaigns- these are also critical in passing a consistent message regarding safe online gambling practices. Internet gamblers subscribe to many platforms since they share information such as odds. Conveying a message through a campaign will reach many users who will consider implementing safety measures.

Default opt-in- this strategy is already being implemented in Australia, and it has proved to be viable among bettors in that country. It entails a general policy where all gambling providers are required to set deposit limits for all customers. Those who do not wish to comply can opt-out in the registration phase. For existing gamblers, the site should bar them from gambling until they set that limit.

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