Regulated markets and responsible gambling are inseparable
Operators in regulated markets must implement responsible gambling and social responsibility measures across the board. Curaçao recently announced plans to reform its gambling legislation to include player safety guidelines for its operators. The biggest UK operators have already implemented affordability checks and other responsible measures and these are already impacting their revenues. When the White Paper on UK gambling reform is published and signed into law, all UK-licensed operators will have to abide by the new legislation.
The UK market is one of the most regulated gambling markets globally. The Gambling Commission (UKGC) has fined many of UK's biggest operators for serious breaches of responsible gambling rules. Entain received a record-breaking £17m penalty in August 2022. UKGC is monitoring the group closely and will revoke the licence if it continues to break rules in the future.
There is a circular relationship between the regulated market and responsible gambling. Big corporations have been fined for serious RG and CSR failings. Financial pressures are relevant to even the biggest groups. UKGC shines a spotlight on the big operators. However, failures are commonplace among smaller groups as well.
Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of the European Gaming and Betting Association, believes that responsible gambling is the focus of operators. The debate is focused on whether new gambling regulations should not impinge too much on operators' ability to generate profits. For the UK, gambling reforms are clearly on the way and the timing is uncertain. Internet gambling industry is trying to strike a careful balance between keeping players safe and not over-regulating. Report highlights the link between overbearing regulations and growth of offshore operators, but it's not possible to separate regulated markets and responsible ones.