Responsible online gambling: myth or reality?
Gambling is one of those hobbies where others might look at you with a little judgment. The risk of losing money and the potential to develop an addiction have left it with a negative reputation. This is especially true for Internet gambling, where many people expect available gambling websites to be scams. Anonymity and distance make it easier to conceal dubious intentions, after all. But is online gambling really as reckless and misguided as some make it out to be?
Why play at all?
The answer is quite simple, really: because it’s fun. Having something to gain or lose is exciting. When you use strategy to play, it becomes a test of your own abilities and an exciting competition against others.
From cowboy legends to scenes like the famous match between Mads Mikkelsen and Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, poker hasn’t become so iconic for nothing. Lotteries, scratch tickets, raffles… people like to try or push their luck. The many dice and card games that have developed around the world are a clear indicator that gambling is a fun pastime with a long tradition.
It’s in times like the pandemic that online gaming really shines. While land-based casinos had to shut down, online casinos allowed people to have access to their hobby. Websites are available from the comfort of your home or while on the go.
Not only can you access the games 24/7, unlike regular casinos, but they also do their best to combine the benefits of both worlds: people who lack the social element of gaming have access to live games. Here you play popular table games against other players while connected to a live casino dealer via video stream. The HUD superimposed on the video gives you important information about the game, your cards and allows you to chat live with other competitors.
The Push for Responsible Gambling
The biggest concern with gambling, and therefore the reason many people are suspicious of its value as a hobby, is the negative effects it can have on a person’s life. Namely: financial losses and dependency (resulting in further financial ruin). Online gambling is a focus for many opponents of gambling because it is much more difficult to regulate than physical locations.
Online casino providers, gambling fans and gambling laws and authorities in different countries have an interest in reducing this negative image. To do this, they put in place and advocate security measures to protect players.
Defenders of reputable online casinos
Gambling enthusiasts around the world have founded communities to share their knowledge and passion. Since online gambling is their hobby, it is in their interest to defend its positive factors. All over the internet, you will find thematic community sites like Casinomeister.com, where the team and the users of the site highlight the most reputable online casinos.
They review the providers available to ensure that many people are making the right choices and thus having a good time using online casinos. The less people fall into scams or have negative experiences with dodgy casinos, the more their favorite pastime loses some of that negative image.
In this review for Rizk Casino, player ratings and admin ratings offer opinions from both “industry participants”, like website owners, and regular users. Offering both opinions side by side is part of the website’s ethos. It is intended to assure readers that the note they see is not a hidden advertisement.
Later with the widespread use of Amazon, customer reviews have changed the way the online marketplace is navigated. Star ratings and reviews are the first stop for those who want to invest in something they know little about. Many online marketing strategies require service providers to cultivate their reviews and ratings section. This is because people will weed out products with more negative reviews without even looking at the product page.
The same goes for services like online gambling. Websites with reviews give newbies the chance to get insider information and opinions, without having to search for the best deal themselves. This puts pressure on online casino providers to attract their users and gambling community websites.
On the rating page linked to Rizk Casino, you will find the mention of the accredited casino. The Seal of Accreditation is a higher level of casino recommendations offered by the community. Casinos that have applied for the badge must complete a list of prerequisites that focus very heavily on the player experience on their website. Successful casinos have the highest quality and safety standards and advocate responsible gambling. By introducing this spotlight on the best of the best, the community is pressuring the casino competition to do the same job.
Licenses and regulations
Gambling authorities in different countries enforce their gambling laws by issuing licenses to casinos. To obtain a license, the casino provider must apply for and pass the authority’s investigations. They do background checks and check if the online casino is compliant with their regulations. Typical prerequisites are:
the applicant must have the necessary know-how and resources to sustain the service,
gaming systems must be programmed fairly,
underage gambling must be prohibited,
players’ credits must be guaranteed in the event of bankruptcy,
and much more.
–> See a full example here: Malta Gambling Regulations.
Since gambling laws differ from country to country, license prerequisites also change slightly. Overall, any license is a good starting point. It ensures a basic level of safety and quality standards. With casino owners clearly stated and their operations monitored by a gaming authority, you eliminate the risk of getting ripped off.
But some licenses offer better protection than others when it comes to player care and responsible gaming. Licenses from the Caribbean state of Curacao are notoriously lax. Other gambling authorities, such as those in Malta, Great Britain and Germany, have stricter regulations.
Just recently, Germany legalized online gambling in combination with a new gambling law. The law places a strong emphasis on the protection of minors and adults. Only casinos with a German license are allowed to operate in Germany. The license includes some of the biggest restrictions to date. For example:
a strict limit of max. Monthly deposit of €1,000 on all gambling sites
a limit of max. €1 bet per slot machine spin
no autoplay features
a self-blocking button that bans the user for 24 hours on all gambling sites
software that tracks user activities and bans/bars them from entering new casinos if regulatory violations are found
These rules and many more target the most addictive features of online gambling. They are removed and players are given additional tools to prevent addiction and loss of control. While some casino fans don’t like strict regulations like these because they feel restricted, the German government introduced them for good reason. This forces casinos and players to put limits in place that minimize the negative effects of gambling and therefore make it a safer and more socially acceptable pastime.
Many people judge and fear the negative effects of gambling. To counter these concerns, governments, casino providers and fans are working to make online gambling as safe and enjoyable as possible. Services are regulated and monitored to ensure high quality and safety. Many licenses include mandatory safety measures, preventive information and tools to combat gambling addiction and loss of livelihood.
Gambling communities review casino websites and describe their experiences to guide users to the best providers. In doing so, they push other services to achieve higher standards to include in their recommendations. While many opponents of the game worry that stages like these will help spread addiction, the opposite is true.
Illegal markets are still available. By removing online gambling from there, they have the ability to offer people their hobby in a safe and controlled environment. Under these conditions, gambling should be no less reputable than investing in stock trading. Rather, it comes with a tighter set of restrictions and safety nets.
This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or management of EconoTimes