Following its introduction at the European Interactive Gaming Expo in October, the International Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct continues to gather pace as it receives support from key industry bodies such as the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) eCOGRA and the Interactive Gaming Council (IGC) who have contributed to the Code’s development.
Online gambling is a dynamic and innovative sector, enjoyed by many millions of people around the world, and as with more traditional forms of gaming, the pastime needs to be undertaken responsibly. This landmark guidance establishes uniform international minimum standards and practical measures throughout the online gambling industry designed to protect players and promote responsible gambling.
The Code underlines the commitment of those bodies involved in online gambling to responsible practices, with initial work led by UK gambling support charity GamCare, the player protection and standards body eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA) and trade association Remote Gaming Association (RGA).
Andrew Poole, GamCare Trade Services Managing Director, said: “We hope that the adoption of this Code will better enable the gambling public to make informed decisions with regards to their remote gambling participation, secure in the knowledge that operators are required by condition of license to protect the welfare and enjoyment of their customers.”
The comprehensive Code aims to protect customers and promote responsible play, and can be viewed in full at www.ecogra.org/RGCode. It focuses on key issues, with measures that include:
* Underage gambling
* Strict use of age verification tools and prominent warnings/policies on underage gambling.
* Links to filtering programmes which enable players and parents to control access.
* Player protection measures
* The ability for customers to self-exclude, set deposit limits and access up-to-date account balances.
* Links to player protection and responsible gaming sites.
* Customer communication
* Signposts to sources of help for customers who may be experiencing difficulties.
* Policies on responsible online gambling clearly set out on websites.
* Staff training
* Social responsibility training provided for all staff who deals with customers.
* Refresher courses delivered to ensure that training is up-to-date and relevant.
* Advertising and promotion – particular care taken not to direct advertising messages to under 18s.
* Legal, decent, honest and truthful advertising.
Sigrid Ligne, EGBA secretary general, said: “EGBA has always pressed for the highest standards of social responsibility in the European online gaming and betting industry. We fully support and are proud to have contributed to the development of a code of conduct for responsible gaming and greater player protection at an international level.”
Clive Hawkswood, Chief Executive of the Remote Gaming Association, said: “The promotion of responsible gambling and the adoption of appropriate safeguards are fundamental to the long term success of the online gambling industry. As the industry develops, it will inevitably come to be regulated in more jurisdictions.
"In those places and others where regulation is already being developed, I would commend this Code to them. It is based on the best industry experience and practice and, more importantly, the expertise of GamCare."
eCOGRA CEO Andrew Beveridge, said: "Any way you look at it, the new Code is a landmark development taking the industry into a more caring, player-sensitive and responsible future by using practical and proven measures firmly based on experience and research-backed knowledge.
"With the right sort of unpartisan approach, its merits are clear and the potential for good is significant. The groundwork has been done; the challenge now is acceptance and a commitment to use the Code to provide the player protection it makes possible."
Industry bodies are now engaging with leading European licensing and regulatory jurisdictions with the aim of securing further support for the Code and its introduction to online operators everywhere. With the majority of international top-tier Internet gambling companies represented, the Responsible Gambling Code has global coverage and covers all aspects of responsible Internet gambling:
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