By Iqbal Johal
Responsible gambling and player protection are more critical than ever during the period of self-isolation due to the coronavirus, according to the CEO of Gamban.
Gamban Founder and CEO Jack Symons said that with the rise of online gambling, operators must make sure they are responsible with the way they handle bonuses and deal with new players.
He told Gambling Insider: “I have no doubt that more people will engage in online gambling as a result of isolation. Responsible gambling and player protection are critical more than ever at times like this. There is a big risk in problem gambling rising because of isolation.
"It’s a very engaging and exciting thing to do and you can do it at home on any of your devices. I hope the way bonus tactics are applied won’t be entirely around the fact people are isolating and therefore deserve a bonus because that would be both opportunistic and parasitic. Operators need to work out that no two problem gamblers are the same and the fact that different people can have different problematic relationships with gambling and will continue to do so even more so in isolation.”
Symons continued that despite measures coming into place such as the Betting and Gaming Council’s (BGC) 10 point plan to help with player protection, the industry should quietly get on with providing a safe platform, rather than announce they are using the outbreak as an opportunity to improve.
“I think anyone with a modicum of scepticism can see through a lot of the times where gambling operators have donned the white coat and come out with a healthy way to play," he said.
"Personally, I’ve always preferred for the industry to get on and do what it does: provide entertainment. Where I have a problem is where these organisations come together and tirelessly tell us all the good things they are doing to help people. You provide an entertainment product, continue doing that that. Differentiate yourself from your competitors but don’t preach and brag about how socially responsible you are.”
In terms of Gamban, Symons expects the gambling blocking software to be used more than ever.
He added: “All our concentration is on making the product as good as it can be, giving people the best protection from the most gambling sites and apps, including unregulated and emerging products. We envisage our technology being used more than ever and it depends on how long this goes on for. Often it can take time for someone to admit they’ve got a problem but what we’ve found is a multi-layered approach to self-exclusion is the best way forward.”