Mobile gaming is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, and without doubt, the fastest growing sector for gaming – at the center of mobile gaming is the betting and gambling genre but as growth continues, regulation is formed to ensure player safety is held in high regard, but what does this mean for your mobile gambling experience?
The UK was the first to implement big change after many reports that there was an epidemic of problem gamblers primarily betting through mobile devices, and so steps were taken to ensure this didn’t get out of hand – the most recent change is within payment methods, as of April this year, credit card gambling within the UK is banned and operators were requested to remove the option from their services – this is in line with research that suggested 22% of online gamblers using credit cards are considered to be problem gamblers, accruing huge debt giving these gamblers the ability to play in a situation they may not otherwise have been able to.
There had also been the introduction of a self-inclusion initiative called Gamstop – this service allows those who would be problem gamblers to register to the service as a way to prevent participation on these sites, this had also been made mandatory for operators within the UK in April which would lead to many risking losing their gaming license if they didn’t comply. This hasn’t been complete without fault, however, and now many operators are registering outside of the UK as there is now a growing amount of betting and bingo sites not registered in the UK which allows players who are registered with the initiative to still play on these sites. These sites also provide a host of other opportunities too, whilst many will still allow credit card betting as they’re not within the UK, many also offer alternative options such as crypto and e-wallet deposits – many may also offer some more generous sign-up benefits as an encouragement to move away from some of the bigger mainland based operators with well-known names.
These restrictions are only amongst the start of a growing trend, however, and as mentioned they haven’t been without fault. Gamstop had initially received some mixed feedback as there had been a flaw in the initiative, players who would register and self include should have been protected from these sites but the initiative only blocks participation, these users were still receiving email and text alerts for updates and deals that are currently ongoing, which is, of course, a dangerous message to send to those who are deemed at risk.
These are just teething issues, and although still present will likely be worked through as time progresses – we’re seeing more of these restrictions pop up through different countries as each tries to tackle growing online gambling problems in different ways – currently the initiative and credit card ban is only in effect within the UK itself but isn’t a far stretch to say that this could change quickly and extend through to many of these other services.