This month in iGaming: January 2023
The EGBA and the MGA both embrace social responsibility while authorities in India move to create a “self-regulatory” body for iGaming.
Social responsibility in Europe
The EU and the UK are home to some of the world’s most established gambling markets, and the regulations they set in place are often copied by other authorities around the world.
If the trend holds true, Europe could become the epicenter of a rising tide of social responsibility in the gambling sector.
The Malta Gaming Authority is planning to develop an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Code of Good Practice. ESG standards help socially conscious investors choose projects and encourage companies to behave responsibly towards their culture and environment.
By encouraging licensees to use the voluntary ESG platform, the MGA hopes to attract more investment into the gambling sector.
Additionally, an EU body and the MGA are both moving to create guidelines for operators to monitor markers of harm.
The European Committee of Standardization is set to develop a pan-European framework for markers of harm when it comes to online gambling, at the behest of the European Gaming and Betting Association.
Certain patterns of behavior can indicate if a player is more likely to develop problem gambling behavior. For example, one marker of harm can be increased use of control tools such as joining self-exclusion programs.
Under new rules introduced as part of the MGA’s Player Protection Directive, B2C licensees will be required to monitor their players for indicators such as increased deposit frequency or amount, the use of multiple payment methods, and the reversal of a decision to withdraw funds.
The rules will also demand increased staff training and a requirement that the player’s balance must be visible at all times.
Self-governing iGaming in India
The legal status of gambling in India has been fraught in the past several years, with courts ruling back and forth on the status of skill games, games of chance, and other aspects of the industry.
Recently, however, authorities realized the need for a governing body for the country’s iGaming sector, and this month the Ministry of Electronics and IT published rules that would establish a series of governing bodies to oversee online gambling in India.
However, while organizations that regulate gambling are usually government institutions, India has its own take on the idea of oversight.
Instead of a bureaucratic agency keeping tabs on the private sector, the “self-regulatory bodies” will be made up of online gambling businesses themselves. The board will also be required to include an individual to represent the interests of players, an expert in psychology or consumer relations, and a public policy expert.
The organization will be tasked with creating the rules to govern online gambling in the country.
Calls to establish a regulator in the country come amidst a wave of concern regarding problem gambling caused by the rapid increase in popularity of online real-money gaming.
A bumpy road gets bumpier in Uruguay
A proposed online gambling bill in Uruguay has been beset by critics objecting to “weak and insufficient” controls and the fact that only brick-and-mortar casinos will be allowed to run online platforms.
Now, another critic has leapt onto the dogpile.
The Football Association of Uruguay (AUF) would object to any law that doesn’t allow advertising partnerships between teams and online sportsbooks (athletic sponsorships are one of the most effective marketing tools in the LatAm market).
AUF committee member Eduardo Ache believes that the association could make 10 times the revenue with private partnerships than what it earns from state monopoly Supermatch. Ache has stated that the proceeds would go to furthering youth sports.
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