The International Gaming Standards Association (IGSA) Board of Directors has approved the creation of a Responsible Gaming Committee to support regulators and operators, a move which has been welcomed by some of the key players in the industry.
Most professional operators will of course already have a basic responsible gaming policy in place, but the idea behind the new committee is to help them move to a more sophisticated system, using the power of prediction and preventative detection to harness quantifiable data and protect customers.
What Is The International Gaming Standards Association?
The International Gaming Standards Association (IGSA) is a non-profit organization, founded in 2002, with the aim of improving overall standards within the gaming industry. The IGSA works with manufacturers, operators, regulators, and anyone else with an interest in the industry to develop standards should hopefully help to support the growth and development of gambling, at the same time as keeping companies accountable to high standards.
The IGSA also has an educational remit, and provides gaming standards training to its members through workshops and online learning. it also serves as an advocate for the gaming industry, providing information on regulatory issues and advocating for fair regulations. The association recognises that it’s a two way street and wants to protect companies as well as consumers.
IGSA Joined By Alan Feldman
To help with this new initiative, the IGSA is being joined by responsible gaming expert Alan Feldman – known for his roles at the UNLV International Gaming Institute and the International Centre for Responsible Gaming. Alan brings with him a wealth of experience – over 30 years in the gaming industry to be precise. He’s held various positions at some of the world’s leading gaming companies, most recently serving a 23-year stint at MGM Resorts International. Alan will be a great asset to IGSA, where his expertise and knowledge should prove invaluable to the organization’s mission of promoting responsible gaming practices and standards across the global gaming industry.
Earle G Hall is the chairman of the IGSA. “The time has come to create a global standard, process and path for predictive responsible gaming,” said Hall. “Regulators have done an incredible job of creating their individual approaches. It is now time to pull the best practices together into a journey from discovery to quantitative management.
“Moreover, it is time to shift the paradigm to a data-driven predictability model to remove the tremendous burden on regulators and operators. We are excited by the overwhelming response by our members, affiliates and partners to be a part of this movement.”
What Do We Mean By Responsible Gaming?
Responsible gaming might seem like a bit of a vague term, but it basically means that you’re gaming or gambling safely, with an awareness of your own limits. Responsible gaming also means being aware of the potential for addiction and taking steps to prevent it from happening. This could mean doing things like setting limits on how much time you spend gaming or how much money you’re spending.
Checking in on your own mental health is important – it’s a red flag if you’re becoming overly stressed or anxious while playing and it’s just as important to consider the impact of your gaming on those around you, including family members, friends, and colleagues. If your gaming it having a negative impact on other people, chances are there is a problem developing.
Why Operators Also Have A Responsibility
According to the National Council on Problem Gaming, around two million adults in the U.S. in any year meet the criteria to be classified as having a severe gambling addiction problem and a further four to six million are classified as having mild or moderate problems. This is not an issue for individuals – it’s something that both the U.S. government at the gambling industry as a whole need to take seriously.
Although individuals need to be mindful of their own habits and take care to gamble responsibly, a large part of the responsibility also needs to fall on the operators and how they run their businesses in such a way as to protect players at the same time as making a profit. While appreciating that running a physical or online casino is at the end of the day a money-making enterprise, that doesn’t mean it should be done at the expense of consumers.
In fact, in order for gambling to be a sustainable long-term business model, an element of care is essential. There’s a good deal of competition in the industry and players are only going to want to come back to you if you have a good range of games and decent customer service.
How Casinos Can Make Sure Players Gamble Responsibly
There are plenty of ways that online casinos like mentioned here can be proactive about taking care of their players and making sure they gamble responsibly. One simple way to do this is to make sure they have easy access to clear, honest information about the risks associated with gambling, as well as the resources available to help them manage their gaming habits. Casinos can set limits on how much money and time players can spend in the casino – this prevents players from getting too carried away and end up spending more than they can afford.
For players who feel like their gambling is becoming a problem, casinos should offer self-exclusion programs. These allow players to voluntarily exclude themselves from the casino for a certain period of time, either online or also in person. This can provide a much-needed opportunity to step back and assess their gaming habits without any pressure or temptation from the casino environment.
Well-trained staff members also have a role to play, as they are the people who are hands-on with the players and are best positioned to recognize the beginning of problem behavior during table games. Staff who are knowledgeable about responsible gambling practices can provide assistance to players who may be struggling with problem gambling, perhaps offering signposting services or acting as a first buffer.
This new committee from the IGSA can only be a positive move for the industry and is sure to be useful for operators.