With the US gambling market taking off in a massive way, there is a lot of change coming in the next few years. As more states legalize different forms of online gambling, there are likely going to be a lot of teething problems.
While it is great that a whole new audience is going to get access to the likes of online casino games, sports betting at websites such as BetOnline, and poker, there are also some responsibilities that come along with this expansion. Gambling addiction is a serious problem all across the world today.
While there is more awareness about the issue, there has also never been easier access to all forms of gambling. Therefore, the US authorities are likely going to have to adapt to any trends that emerge in the coming years as a result of the widespread rollout of online gambling.
The US authorities will be able to look at examples from other regions to see the best strategies to handle the situation. This article will look at what other countries seem to do well and not so well when it comes to promoting responsible gambling.
The UKGC and GamStop
The UK gambling market is one of the most established in the world. It has been around for so many decades and the authorities have regularly updated the rules and regulations for operators. The body in charge of the gambling sector is the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). It is tasked with issuing licenses to operators, as well as making sure that they are all complying with the relevant rules and regulations.
The UKGC also keeps an eye on the latest data and trends, making changes to the regulations depending on these results. This means that restrictions are regularly coming into place. Some of the recent introductions in this regard include banning credit cards for gambling transactions, introducing spin timers, and curtailing bet sizes.
In order to get a hand in promoting responsible gambling, the UKGC enlists the help of the likes of GamStop. This non-profit group is solely focused on providing a mass self-exclusion scheme. This means that anyone who signs up will get excluded from each and every gambling platform that the UKGC has licensed. The self-exclusion periods can last from a few months up to a number of years and it cannot be reversed once it has been put in place.
How Do Non-GamStop Casinos Work?
As a result of the raft of new restrictions that gambling and casino sites are now facing in the UK, some people are looking elsewhere to play their favorite games. They utilize non-GamStop casinos as these platforms do not follow the rules of the UKGC. This does not mean that they are not going to have a license from a different gambling regulator.
The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is very respected and often will provide licenses to these sites, which gives some peace of mind to the players. However, there is currently no equivalent to GamStop that is available for non-GamStop casinos. This means that people are not able to self-exclude on a mass scale. However, most operators will have their own individual self-exclusion offerings, which can be helpful. Another downside to non-GamStop casinos is that people who have excluded themselves through GamStop will be able to keep gambling.
In terms of the upsides of non-GamStop casinos, many people prefer them because they will be getting an all-around greater level of freedom. There will be fewer restrictions in place on the likes of bet sizes, game features, bonus offers, and transaction methods. You will also come across bigger game libraries, as well as more extensive types of games. There is an overall greater sense of freedom that is leading to a lot of people moving over to these casino sites rather than utilizing UKGC-licensed platforms.
GamStop Sites vs Non-UK Casinos
There are different approaches that can be taken when it comes to online casinos. There is not going to be a definitive answer as to if one is superior to the other. Here is a look at the main strengths and weaknesses of GamStop sites and non-GamStop casinos:
- Widely available
- Plenty of support for problem gamblers
- Access to third party dispute resolution
- No ability to use debt accumulation payment options
- Curtailments on game features
- Restricted payment options
- Tighter betting limits
- Greater level of freedom
- Wider collection of payment options
- Bigger game libraries
- Fewer bans on game features
- More lucrative bonuses
- No mass self-exclusion
- Allows people to avoid GamStop
- No third-party dispute resolution services
What Method is Right for the United States?
Each US state will have its own situation to deal with when it comes to developing a safe gambling environment for its residents. Therefore, it is likely that a variety of different approaches are going to be taken. There will be trade-offs to be considered, such as the level of freedom they want to give players versus protecting people.
They will also have to balance giving more expansive game features with having people use these games in a safe manner. There are certain aspects of the UK gambling sector that the US states can take on board, as well as some for the features of non-GamStop casinos.
A Fine Balance to Strike
There is a fine balance to strike when with comes to creating a functional gambling sector in a country. On one hand, there is a need to provide a greater level of freedom for players. However, it is also important that gamblers are going to be properly protected. This is why the US authorities can take a look at how other countries have fared with their respective approach and can learn the lessons off the back of it.