Future of iGaming: Isabelle Zanzer’s Responsible Gambling Cri de Coeur

Legal eagle and iGaming guru Isabelle Zanzer, former Head of Regulation and Compliance at Omnichannel Entain, has launched an impassioned plea for greater innovation and application of Responsible Gambling protocols in our industry.

Here, in an exclusive article for iGamingFuture, Isabelle, a graduate of the International University of Monaco and France’s prestigious Sorbonne University, and founder of the CompliancePlay consultancy, lays out a compelling argument for safer, regulated gambling.

For the future sustainability of iGaming and safety of players; the need for Responsible Gambling has never been more pressing, says the Regulatory Compliance Specialist.

Read on:

In the ever-evolving world of gambling, where the thrill of the game often eclipses rational decision-making, the imperative for Responsible Gambling practices has never been clearer, writes Isabelle.

The term ‘Responsible Gambling’ presents a paradox, as it combines the prudent notion of responsibility with the inherently risky behaviour of gambling. However, it has become an increasingly important subject matter, with the demand for responsibility and accountability of operators growing exponentially. The recent hefty fines levied against major gambling operators serve as a stark reminder of the social and ethical responsibilities incumbent upon the industry.

Responsible Gambling is not just a set of policies: It’s also a comprehensive approach aimed at safeguarding the well-being of gamblers. It encompasses measures to prevent gambling addiction and provide timely intervention for those at risk. It ensures that casino games, or betting features, stay as they were designed — a form of entertainment.

As seen in cases involving heavy penalties for operators like Entain, William Hill and PointsBet; the failure to implement effective Responsible Gambling measures can lead to significant financial losses and reputational damage.

Regulations play a crucial role in shaping the practices of the gambling industry.

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), for example, has set precedents with its pilot scheme for enhanced affordability checks. This pilot involves an approach where initial ‘light checks’ are based on thresholds of customer net losses — £125 within a 30-day period or £500 within a year. If these thresholds are exceeded, more detailed checks are triggered. For significant losses, such as £1,000 within 24 hours or £2,000 within 90 days, the operators will conduct deeper financial scrutiny.

The Netherlands is also making headlines with the Bikker Motion. Recently passed in the Dutch parliament, this is a significant step towards enhancing Responsible Gambling measures in this most progressive of nations. The motion mandates the implementation of a universal loss limit across all 27 licensed online gambling operators, prohibiting increases unless specifically offered, and aims to provide robust consumer protection within the online gambling market by curtailing excessive gambling expenditures.

The motion passed despite opposition from some government officials, highlighting a strong legislative commitment to promoting safer gambling practices.

Operators are at the frontline of the fight against gambling-related harm.

Their commitment to Responsible Gambling is critical. This includes training staff to recognise problem gambling behaviours and providing resources and support to those affected. As the industry expands, particularly in the online realm, the need for vigilant monitoring and responsive measures becomes increasingly important.

Responsible Gambling is crucial for the profitability of gambling operators because it fosters a sustainable business model by promoting trust and long-term engagement with customers. When customers perceive a gambling platform as safe and committed to preventing gambling-related harm, they are more likely to become loyal patrons. This not only enhances the reputation of the operator but also aligns with regulatory requirements, reducing the risk of costly penalties and legal issues.

Self-regulation is a critical aspect of maintaining a Responsible and Sustainable gambling industry.

It not only demonstrates an operator’s commitment to ethical practices but also helps in building trust with both customers and regulators.

By proactively setting standards and guidelines for responsible gambling, operators can mitigate risks and prevent the need for heavy-handed external regulation.

Effective self-regulation includes measures such as enforcing age verification, promoting fair play, and providing tools for self-exclusion and loss limits, which can help maintain a safe gambling environment. This approach not only ensures compliance with legal frameworks but also enhances the reputation of the operators, contributing to their long-term profitability and sustainability.

The call for Responsible Gambling is not just about adhering to regulations. It’s also about fostering a sustainable industry where growth does not come at the cost of consumer well-being. It requires a collaborative effort among regulators, operators, and technology providers to craft an environment that respects the dangers inherent in gambling while providing a safe space for consumers to enjoy all that the operator has to offer.

In conclusion, as our industry continues to grow–particularly with the advent of new gaming platforms–, the importance of Responsible Gambling will only increase, making it an essential pillar for the future of gaming.

Innovations in Responsible Gambling practices not only help mitigate financial risks and legal repercussions but also build trust and integrity in the gambling ecosystem, ensuring a safer gambling experience for everyone involved.

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