Authorities guarding over online casino operators across the world are asking for increased player protection measures.
New measures have been introduced in Canada and the European Union to increase customer protection for gamblers who like to play online.
While the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) created a new set of standards for its accreditation program for online gambling sites in Canada, the European Union has adopted new recommendations on player protection.
The new policies seek to offer better and safer services for online casino users in Europe and Canada, as well as to prevent and reduce problem gambling.
New standards for Canadian gambling sites
Top online casinos licensed in the European Union include:
The RGC has recently published its new “Responsible Gambling Standards – Internet”. The document is basically a set of seven standards and 51 criteria for online gaming operators to follow.
The rules mainly focus on how comprehensive corporate policies are and how well they are embedded in the organization, communicating self-bans, providing responsible gambling information efficiently and also on what happens when a player has a gambling problem.
The RG standards also cover issues such as access to money, website features and game safety, as well as employee training.
It took the RGC’s Centre for the Advancement of Best Practices several years to develop a complete set of rules. They are based on extensive research, including consultation with experts and a thorough review of problem gambling literature. Regulators, treatment providers, gamblers and players who suffer from gambling addiction were consulted in the process.
Requirements for RG Check accreditation
Under Canadian gambling laws, the country does not give out licenses for internet casino operators. However, several provinces have their own sites and local gamblers are not forbidden from accessing online casinos hosted in other countries.
This being said, every internet gambling site needs to adopt proper responsible gambling measures and the RGC’s accreditation program (RG Check) will now require operators to abide by the new standards. The program aims to provide objective benchmarks for the content, quality, and breadth of RG programs.
The accreditation program promotes a higher standard of customer protection and having RG Check means the accredited casino operator has actually taken all the measures to reduce the risk of gambling addiction. It takes six months to earn an RG Check – Internet accreditation.
“RGC set out to create the gold standard of consumer protection,” CEO Jon Kelly said in a statement. “The RG Check program, based on 7 standards and 51 criteria, gives internet gambling providers the opportunity to have their responsible gambling safeguards assessed against comprehensive international standards and a rigorous accreditation process.”
Guidelines for online casinos in the EU
Over the past four years, the European Commission has been discussing new recommendations for player protection measures. The guidelines have been subjected to public consultations and now the European Union has finally adopted a unified set of rules, for all member states to follow.
Local authorities have to make sure that citizens living in all member states are well informed of the risks they’re taking when gambling online. This applies especially for minors. Officials also need to ensure that internet casino operators effectively communicate their messages on responsible gaming.
The European Commission believes it is important that online gamblers have access to all the information they need. The idea is to provide them with the assurance that by choosing licensed websites they opt for safer services, which use appropriate age and identity verification systems, as well as registration controls.
Obligations for internet gambling companies
Before applying for a license to run an online casino in the EU, operators have an obligation to adopt all necessary measures to mitigate the risks attached to online gambling. This means they have to offer do anything they can to prevent problem gamblers from playing. All EU states will be required to conduct national risk assessments.
Money-laundering is another issue the European Commission takes very seriously. The adopted recommendations state that licensed casino operators are obligated to apply strict measures to prevent criminal behavior.
There are around 6.8 million European citizens accessing internet casinos in the EU and while not all of them play on a regular basis, over 12% of all gambling is conducted online. This is why authorities consider all of these measures necessary.