Online casinos are to start a massive crackdown on underage and excessive gamblers in an effort to promote more responsible gambling. This is according to new legislation released by the by self regulatory body eCommerce and Online Gaming, Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA).
The regulations are to be implemented following an intense training session for casino managers, which covered a wide range of topics on problem gambling activities from warning underage players off to excluding gamblers with a problem. The 56 online casinos and poker rooms bearing the eCOGRA Seal of Approval will put into operation in-house policies and a comprehensive range of independently enforced requirements that are designed in collaboration with the G4 responsible gambling consortium.
“This initiative is one of the most comprehensive and widespread responsible gambling effort yet seen in the online gaming industry”, says eCOGRA’s CEO Andrew Beveridge. The regulations effectively bar players who are not eligible to gamble online because of compulsive behaviour that could be financially damaging to their lives, and this includes players who are too young to gamble too. Gamblers will now have to abide by the ‘minimum gambling age of 18’ rule that is also applied to most offline casinos in the event that there are no home jurisdictions in particular states where online gambling is acceptable.
The new requirements are a concern for marketing departments of online casinos and poker rooms because it steers them against sending any promotional or marketing literature to any player who may be considered a problem gambler, or to those who are underage, and they will not be allowed to utilize media primarily targeted on teenagers.
Casino staff will receive guidelines and ongoing coaching on how to identify and deal with problem gamblers and the use of Identification Verification technology, as part of the registration process, has been formalised and is already being embraced at many operations.
This is the right step in a safer more well-regulated direction for online gambling and one can only hope that this is just the first of many endeavours in the industry that will add legitimacy and credibility to an ever-growing market of new gamers. Djarumtoto