The Future of Sustainable Gaming: Q&A with Yanica Sant, MGA, Head of International Affairs & Policy
As player protection and responsible gaming evolve at a quicker pace than ever before, keeping up with the changes can be tricky.
To help our community understand what’s in store, iGamingFuture spoke with Yanica Sant, Head of International Affairs & Policy at the MGA to hear their perspective on the future of our industry.
Why is responsible gaming so important to the future of the industry?
“The key to the continued success of any industry is sustainability, and this is even more so the case in the gambling industry.
Gambling regulators worldwide share the objective of ensuring that gambling remains a form of entertainment.
Sustainability within the gambling sphere requires players not to play beyond their means, and this responsibility is equally shared between the legislator, the regulator, the players, and the operators.
Regulators see to it that operators have all the systems in place to be able to identify, detect and stop a player from developing a gambling problem, and that players are aware of all the responsible gambling tools at their disposal.”
What does the future of player protection look like from an MGA perspective?
“Player protection has always been at the forefront of the MGA’s regulatory objectives, and year on year we seek ways in which to improve both our existing regulatory framework as well as our implementation of that framework.
In the coming months we shall be conducting specialised audits wholly focused on the manner in which MGA-licensed operators fulfil the respective responsible gaming obligations.
The MGA will be specifically focusing on the detection techniques applied by operators. The MGA would like to see operators take a more proactive approach ensuring that no one within their player base is a problem gambler, and to assist any player who could be at risk of developing a problem.
Operators are encouraged to look beyond the letter of the law, and to seek out the best ways in which to achieve this objective in view of their specific business model.”
What are some of the biggest challenges with player protection?
“There was a time when responsible gambling and marketing teams were at loggerheads within an organisation, however we are satisfied to see that this is hardly ever the case anymore.
Once the value of a responsible gambling strategy is appreciated by the organisation as a means of ensuring sustainability, the biggest challenge is already overcome.
The next hurdle is two-fold: operators need to better communicate their existing player protection tools, and they need to always ensure that their tools are suitable to achieve the objective of protecting their players.”
How can the industry overcome these challenges?
“We have recently witnessed large industry players presenting self-regulatory guidelines on advertising. This collaboration between licensees is one sure way of overcoming these challenges.
Self-regulation for responsible gambling and player protection is necessary and will improve the overall value of the product and service offered by operators.
However, as a regulator, we also have a role in seeing the industry overcome these challenges.
If we are to achieve an increased level of player protection for all the licensees’ players, we have identified the need of increased collaboration within the industry.
We will continue to analyse the research presented by various academics with access to operator data, and we will maintain our open channels with all players through our player support department.
Every stakeholder must recognise the importance of collaboration with other entities, especially in light of the fact that improved player protection is in everyone’s interest.”