02 May 2019
Regulating gaming in an ideal manner is based on the premise that gaming must be kept free from crime, abuse and corruption, protecting vulnerable players from excessive gaming and keeping minors out of gambling. Moreover, it is a tool to promote jurisdictional excellence, expertise and responsible innovation.
A well-thought-out framework would safeguard the public interest by ensuring fairness and protecting vulnerable persons more effectively than a gaming ban while it also serves to generate jobs, increase a country's GDP and attract foreign investment. Regulation also helps in preventing the use of gaming for the purposes of crime and money-laundering. These are the regulatory objectives of every gaming regulatory framework.
Technology and Game Neutrality
A technology neutral framework allows platform operators enough room to manoeuvre in adopting practices which are fitting to their needs. It encourages innovation and development, rather than stifling it. Having a technologically neutral law prevents discrimination between different types of technologies with similar functionalities, or between mainstream and emerging technologies. Legislation should be future-proof, in light of the fact that legislative acts take a long time to be constructed.
Technology neutrality in legislation concerns two main objectives: fostering innovation and sustainability.
The key point to drive home is to create a framework that would not be overly burdensome on the industry while ensuring effective regulation. A good legislative framework focuses on the areas that truly matter in order to streamline supervision.
Player protection mechanisms should be rigid enough in order to focus on the protection of players but must be pragmatic enough in order to allow operators a degree of flexibility in the operation of the platform. A player-protection oriented framework must address the several player protection principles, some of which include the protection of minors and vulnerable individuals, the limiting of additional funds, fair gaming, responsible operation, displays of information and warning signs, limited advertising and measures combating criminal infiltration. A practical way of how this can be achieved is for instance, through self-barring functionalities, wherein persons can apply to effectively ban themselves from all licensed land-based gaming locations, or remote gaming platforms within the jurisdiction. Allowing customers to self-impose limitations on their spending is also an effective tool to achieve the regulatory objectives. Other common mechanisms include;
Non-Duplication of Controls
When an application for a gaming license is made, the gaming legislative framework must avoid the duplication of procedures and controls, meaning that if a competent gaming authority in another jurisdiction has carried out checks on the application, these checks need not be repeated unless necessary. However, when requested to rely on procedures and controls carried out by a competent authority in another jurisdiction, it would be ideal to subject such measures to further verification and the framework need not bind you to accept reliance if these do not provide equivalent safeguards to those provided by the national framework.
Furthermore, the principle of non-duplication of controls should be applied also within the framework itself. Many gaming frameworks tend to get extremely bureaucratic and mechanical, due to the insecurity of authorities to regulate the sector. To effectively regulate modern tech industries, it is essential that authorities take a pragmatic approach by not stifling innovation but rather concentrating on what really matters. Gaming has become a high-tech industry and therefore this applies squarely to it.
Irrefutably, the ideal gaming legislative framework must take a reformist approach, keeping an eye on the governance and control structures within, while maintaining accountability. Having a robust legislative framework is key, however having an effective authority which seeks to achieve the regulatory objectives sought after by the framework is elemental. Such authority must be alert to any changes happening in the industry, and proactive in adopting measures in relation to innovation. Conclusively, a successful regime should ultimately be measured in terms of efficiency or sustainable growth within the sector, placing the player at the heart of the ecosystem.