The Safer Gambling Standard is an independent quality standard that assesses the measures put in place by operators to protect their clients from gambling-related harm. This Seal of Approval should be the bare minimum gamblers look for when it comes to playing casino games online.
The need for the Standard stems from a gambling industry that:
- is committed to taking care of its customers
- empowers its customers with the knowledge to manage their gambling
- ensures that the young and vulnerable are protected from the adverse consequences of gambling
Gambling businesses that receive the Safer Gambling Standard stamp of approval have elected to go through assessment and are found to demonstrate that they are meeting and exceeding their regulatory responsibilities to protect their customers, because they have their best interests at heart.
Recognising a Safer Gambling Standard Operator
It is easy to recognise an approved operator once you know what to look for:
- A gambling business that has set in place specific rules to identify a customer at risk of developing a gambling problem and has trained staff to effectively interact with them.
- A gambling business which provides customers with tools to set time or spend limits on their accounts.
- A gambling business that puts in place systems to detect underage gambling.
The business should also be proactive when it comes to its customer interactions. Meaning that a business-led interaction with a customer based on concerns the business has about the customer’s level of gameplay gets resolved quickly and comprehensively.
On the flip side, they should also react timeously if a customer brings a concern to their attention.
Player Protection Tools
Science-backed research has indicated a few requirements to empower consumers and not only avoid falling victim to gambling-related harm, but also take a well thought out preventative approach.
GamCare, a leading national provider of free information, advice and support for anyone affected by problem gambling in the UK, established the following ideologies:
✓ Breaks in Play: Players can often get caught up in the game and lose connection with the world around them. Research has suggested that best practice is to institute a break once a player has played a game for a certain length of time and to include a responsible gambling message within this break.
✓ Messaging: Encouraging self-appraisal by means of Autonomy, which is a person’s ability to make decisions for themselves. Research by Monaghan and Blaszczynski in 2010 revealed:
“When it comes to messaging players regarding their gambling behaviour, research has found that when these messages support a player’s right to make their own decisions, this can positively affect their thoughts, behaviour, and awareness of gambling activity.”
✓ Limit Setting: This encourages players to create limits on both their time and money spending before they even place their first bet. It should also encourage players to stick to these limits and not lose control.
✓ Support: Having a trained team on hand to help recognise problem gambling and offer you a referral to a support system that can lead you back to a place of safety.
Each operator who has been accredited, achieves the level of accreditation based on how much evidence they have provided in terms of their approach to safer gambling when they were assessed.
Starting from Base Level to Advanced Level 3, gambling businesses need to invest time and resources to supply evidence to prove that they have met the necessary requirements.