Published on April 30th, 2020
The European Gaming and Betting Association, also known as EGBA disagrees with the widespread claim that online gambling activities will skyrocket because of the current lockdowns in place around the world, asserting instead, that the stay at home order in place in many countries will rather trigger a decline in online gambling.
It went ahead to warn that more action is needed to protect players from plunging into problem gambling. For them, not much would be achieved if players are left to be their own watchdog.
The claim that the rate of online gambling will go up because of the lockdown was also disputed by the association, there was a concern that an appealing casino deposit bonus would be all it takes for people at home seeking ways to fight off the boredom of being indoors.
It classified the claim as an unfounded one, noting that close to half of gambling activities that happen online in Europe involve sports betting.
Because all major sporting activities have been put on hold, the decline in online gambling is already here, and not even an increase in casino play can mitigate that.
The association made reference to the latest figures from the H2 Gambling Capital projecting that there would be a dip in gambling revenues in 2020, revealing that those numerous restrictions on advertising that were implemented in the beginning of the crisis are ill advised.
Against what many people were expecting, there is no evidence of an astronomical increase in internet gambling.
The lack of increase in internet gambling activities defeats the aim of the numerous restrictions placed on severe advertising in many countries in Europe, because they were meant to forestall such exponential increase, according to EGBA.
The body went ahead to let operators understand that it is still their task to make visible and effective efforts to ensure that customers gamble responsibly, even when a lot of tools are available to the customers to implement this on their own.
For them, it is not the task of the customer, and they shouldn’t be left to do it alone. It is one of the social responsibilities of the online gambling operators, and they consciously should take it up in these trying times. They believe that it is only a matter of common sense on their part.
The caveat here is that online casino websites must provide players with the tools for responsible gambling for. But that is not enough. They should also ensure that players are aware of these rules and that they can easily access and use them.
According to EGBA, one of the most important safety nets to be made available to players that are prone to problem gambling, both on the national and individual operators’ basis is the self-exclusion system.
But they also acknowledged that those operators without proper license are not included in the national self-exclusion registers. Because of that, regulators are encouraged to descend on these websites and close them down.
The body went ahead to emphasize on the importance of proper advertising by them, in line with the responsible advertising rules they released in March.
Every day is a day to pursue safer and responsible gambling according to them, and their desire is to build an industry that is sustainable, and one in which players can enjoy their fun in a safe environment.
The fact that millions of Europeans are locked down in their homes because of the present condition of the world, makes this even more imperative.
In the regulation, there was a warning by the body that casino websites must not mention the name of the current situation, statements from the World Health Organization referring to the situation, or anything that has to do with it in their adverts or any part of their website.
Warning was also issued to the operators to never advertise in a way that gambling is presented as the solution to people’s financial, personal or social problems, nor lure players into embracing online gambling as a means of defeating boredom.