eCOGRA LAUNCHES MAJOR RESPONSIBLE GAMING INITIATIVE Underage and problem gamblers the subject of new regulations
Barring under-age aspirant players and protecting addicted gamblers
from harming themselves financially is at the centre of the latest
initiative launched by self regulatory body eCommerce and Online
Gaming, Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA).
The 56 major online casinos and poker rooms bearing the
organisation’s seal will be implementing specific in-house policies and
a comprehensive range of independently enforced requirements designed
in collaboration with the G4 responsible gambling group.
The introduction of the regulations follows an intensive training
session for seal casino managers which took place recently, and cover a
wide spectrum of problem gambling activities from warning under-aged
players off to excluding gamblers with a problem.
All sites will be required to carry a prominent Responsible Gaming
section in which the dangers of under-age and problem gambling are
explained. 7 day “cooling off,” 6 month self-exclusion or deposit
limiting mechanisms will be provided for gamblers who suspect they may
be in difficulties. Staff will be on the alert for playing and
financial patterns that may indicate an addictive gambler.
Scientifically developed, short self-help diagnostic questionnaires
will be included together with links to problem gambling assistance
bodies around the world.
Training programs are being set up at each casino to give staff
tuition on how to identify and handle problem gamblers, and the use of
ID verification technology as part of the registration process has been
formalised, although this is already in use at many operations.
Special attention is being devoted to preventing underage gamblers
from getting through the casinos’ screening processes, using the latest
technology, ID techniques and strong warnings that underage players
will be disqualified and barred.
The new requirements caution marketing departments of seal casinos
against sending any promotional or marketing literature to any player
who may be a problem gambler, or those who are underage, or using media
primarily targeted on teenagers.
“Play for free” games on the sites will be linked to the same age
restriction, responsible gaming and player protection information as
the “real money” sections.
eCOGRA has taken the position that players must be of legal
gambling age in their home jurisdictions, but has in any case set an
absolute minimum of 18 years.
CEO Andrew Beveridge says that the new initiative is one of the
most comprehensive and widespread responsible gambling efforts yet seen
in the online gaming industry.
“We’re very serious about this, and have the full backing of our
seal casinos. Knowingly allowing or enticing under-age or problem
gamblers to play is morally wrong, and once the regulations have been
implemented the independent accounting firms on our Audit Panel will be
paying particular attention to the consistent application of these
rules by seal casinos,” he said.
Issued by: Andrew Beveridge, CEO
Date: 9 August 2005
Telephone: +44 20 7887 1480
Website: www.ecogra.org« Back