What is Responsible Gambling and How Does Content Localization Play A Role In It?
When hearing the term “responsible gambling”, for many of us, gaming limits and reality-check tools are probably the first things that spring to mind. And while these tools are undoubtedly critical parts of today’s responsible gambling practices, this term represents a much broader area in the iGaming industry.
In a nutshell, responsible gambling is a set of principles and procedures that are designed to protect players from detrimental gambling habits and combat criminal activity. It’s about ensuring that online gambling is a fun and entertaining pastime with maximum transparency.
What is “Responsible Gambling”?
Responsible gambling is one of the most critical parts of the iGaming business. Especially for companies with a well-developed sense of business ethics and social responsibility.
Furthermore, responsible gambling has become one of the essential factors when it comes to iGaming marketing compliance. To fully thrive in different iGaming markets, you need to be on board with current responsible gambling practices and make sure that your brand visibly shows to have a good understanding and implementation of all concepts and practices that go into responsible gambling.
To get a better understanding of the concept of responsible gambling, let’s watch this video first, and we can later break the subject down into a few different subtopics:
Preventing gambling addiction
This is the most apparent aspect of responsible gambling.
After all, the term responsible gambling is rather self-explanatory. It’s about keeping gambling fun and safe. However, for some players, the line between an enjoyable, harmless pastime and a compulsive behaviour with potentially devastating consequences is razor-thin. And this is why gambling commissions have stipulated clear rules and procedures that licensed operators are obliged to follow.
To minimize and prevent such adverse effects, various gambling commissions have enforced a set of responsible gambling tools that players can use to track and restrict their gambling habits. And over the last years, these tools have been further developed in markets like the UK and Sweden.
We’re, of course, talking about deposit limits, gaming limits, reality-check tools and self-exclusion. These tools aren’t new to the industry, as they’ve been around for years, especially at casinos with European gambling licenses. However, as online casinos and sport betting sites have become more mainstream, several countries have made these tools more sophisticated and accessible.
For instance, the Swedish government has created Spelpaus.se – a centralized government-run platform that tracks all players who claim to have difficulties controlling their gambling habits.
The Swedish gambling commission has made it mandatory for operators to display a banner at the top of their websites. From this banner, players can easily set gaming limits and self-exclude themselves at any time.
This means that players no longer have to go into their account settings or request limits or a self-exclusion via customer support. Furthermore, the banner shows players how much time they’ve spent playing at all times. Last but not least, when a player requests a self-exclusion, it will be implemented immediately on all Swedish iGaming sites.
Sweden isn’t the only country to sharpen its responsible gambling tools in recent years. The UK Gambling Commission has gone a similar route through and made it compulsory for operators to integrate their sites with a similarly centralized control system.
It’s also mention-worthy that recent clampdowns for responsible gambling have been effective as five of the UK’s largest iGaming companies agreed to increase their fundings for responsible gambling programmes from 0.1% to 1% last year.
Giving players contact information to help organizations
Apart from these preventive tools, current responsible gambling practices also require operators to provide information of organizations that assist players affected by gambling addiction. Examples of such organizations are Gamcare and Gamblers Anonymous.
Generally, operators will provide contact details of international organizations, as well as local organizations in each relevant market.
In conjunction with this contact information, it’s common for operators to provide simple self-assessment tools that help players determine whether their gaming habits are healthy or not.
In most cases, these tools are simple questionnaires where players are asked a series of yes-or-no-questions. In the end, the players will be presented with a score and get advice on what action to take, based on the test results.
Preventing underage gambling
Naturally, iGaming companies need to make sure that minors aren’t playing on their sites. And iGaming companies go about doing this through registration processes and KYC procedures. In recent years, BankID verification has also made it easier for operators to make sure their players are of appropriate age.
Many operators even go a step further and recommend software that players can install to prevent minors from accessing gambling sites or their accounts. As an example, take a look at Gamban, which is one of the gambling-specific blocking software that Gamcare has recommended on its page:
Honest and responsible marketing
Operators need to make sure any marketing material is factually correct and compliant with the rules of the intended market. And this isn’t always easy.
You obviously want to make your marketing copy compelling and enticing, and sometimes that might create a conflict with the conventional standards of “ethical marketing”.
There are, however, some very straightforward guidelines to follow here. For instance, you should never reach out to customers that haven’t actively permitted you to contact them. Usually, this permission is given during the signup process, and iGaming sites allow players to change these preferences in their account settings.
There are, however, stricter markets that completely prohibit operators from contacting customers. For instance, Sweden’s newly introduced gambling regulations forbid operators from offering players bonuses and similar offers through e-mail or text messages.
Instead, advertising has to be done via tv, online ads or other types of media. Furthermore, operators must provide contact information of organizations that help people suffering from gambling addiction in all marketing material.
LeoVegas, for instance, includes BeGambleAware’s logo and provides the link to BeGambleAware’s homepage in all of its social media posts.
Creating a safe and secure online environment
Online gambling rules and regulations go beyond providing self-regulatory tools and making sure that minors are kept away from online gambling practices.
A big part of this concept has to do with making sure the online environment is safe and free from criminal activity. And now, we’re mainly talking about money laundering and stolen payment details.
iGaming operators are required to do extensive checks to verify that funds come from legitimate sources and that no stolen credit cards, or other payment methods are being used on their sites. In this sense, KYC (know your customer) procedures are an essential part of responsible gambling.
To stay compliant with these requirements, iGaming companies frequently have their finance departments analyze payment patterns, and verify payment methods and player accounts.
On the other end, it’s equally important for iGaming operators to make sure that players can make secure payments. And this is where SSL-encryption and data protection come into play. This also ties into protecting customers’ data in general.
How content ties into responsible gambling
Any content you create related to responsible gambling is of utmost importance. It’s imperative that your translations are precise and don’t allow any room for misinterpretation or disappointments.
Furthermore, this is one area where you certainly need to inspire trust. In other words, you shouldn’t cut any corners when it comes to creating content related to responsible gambling.
iGaming terms and conditions are a good example of how translations can get a bit messy at times. When dealing with iGaming T&C translation, you need to make sure that everything is contextually correct. At the same time, you shouldn’t create too literal translations that make it hard for players to grasp what’s being said.
The goal is to provide players with clear and concise T&Cs that are easy to understand. Unfortunately, many operators cut corners when it comes to iGaming T&Cs translation, and the end result is a brand that comes off as less professional. For instance, it’s not uncommon to come across iGaming websites that only partially translate their terms and conditions pages and leave the actual clauses in English.
Properly localized content will always play an essential role in inspiring trust and building a solid brand identity – and this is especially true when you’re dealing with important subjects such as responsible gambling.
Another area where many companies often cut corners is game descriptions. Players need to understand how the games work – and should they go looking for specific information about a game, you need to present them with top-notch content that quickly lets them grasp how the game works so they can start playing.
Lastly, let’s talk about the responsible gambling landing page. Now, this might not be one of the most frequented landing pages on your site – however, it’s important this content is well-tailored to the relevant market, as it sends a strong message about your brand.
How did you like May Thawdar Oo’s blog post on “Responsible Gambling and the Role of Content Localization”? Let us know in the comments if you have anything to add, have another content idea for iGaming blog posts, or just want to say “hello.” 🙂