It is apparent that the gambling industry has recently changed its emphasis to making gambling safer.
There are several techniques available to help players regulate their gambling, ranging from self-exclusion programs in countries like the UK, Sweden, Netherlands, and the US, to gambling blocking software like Gamban.
However, a major point of debate is how well operators can use all of these resources to help players comprehend how to rein in their gambling if it gets out of hand and how to be alerted if they don’t realize their problems.
The practical safer gambling solutions panel at the SBC Barcelona Summit in September focused mostly on this topic.
Technology and its potential over-reliance by the sector were one of the topics covered. Petronela Kontos, team leader of the E-Games Online Casino Philippines complaints department, talked at the safest online casino database and consumer forum in the world about her experience handling client complaints.
The more tools you have, the more alternatives you have, which could make it more confusing for the players, Kontos said. “There could come a day where we rely too heavily on technology for safer gambling.”
“Technology unquestionably aids in problem identification. Since it’s considered taboo to admit that one gambles or that one has gambling problems, it’s crucial for the operators to recognize the issue before the player can.
The social contact between the operators and the players is more significant than the use of technology.
Kontos also noted that real human communication from operators is crucial in order to prevent players from becoming confused by operators’ overabundance of gambling prevention technologies. The simpler it is for players, the better.
“I can see from the complaints that we get in our complaints center that it is so difficult for the players to know which resources are there to aid, and sometimes when we try to help the players, we too get confused,” she continued.
“Simpler solutions are preferable. The most effective tool, in my opinion, is a panic button because it eliminates the need for email or live chat with customer care. If something happens and you feel uncomfortable or want to quit playing, you simply press the button, and the transaction is over.
I think this is the most effective tool right now, but sadly not all casinos have it, and not all casinos have the right tools, like deposit restrictions, loss limitations, and wager limits, which can be confusing for players at times.
For instance, a few of them are unaware of the distinctions between self-exclusion, blocking an account, cooling off periods, and other terms. We need to educate the players since, in 99% of the self-exclusion complaints we receive, the player is so perplexed about how to self-exclude that we have to get in touch with the casinos to inform them of what to do and how to spot the issue if they want to cool off or self-exclude permanently. However, it must be explained extremely well because occasionally even gamers lack clarity.
“We understand the full gambling system and how it functions, but sometimes simplicity is best.”