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New Times, New Rules: Responsible Gaming in the Modern Era

Jun 22, 2023 13:35 IST 
New Delhi, Delhi, India


In recent years, the landscape of iGaming has undergone significant changes, particularly in terms of diverse responsible gaming practices. As the industry continues to evolve, the importance of responsible behavior has gained prominence, aiming to ensure a safer and more enjoyable experience for players. This article explores the difference between responsible and problematic behavior and provides valuable strategies to foster a healthier and more enjoyable gaming experience while preventing addiction.


New Times, New Rules: Responsible Gaming in the Modern Era


Difference Between Responsible and Problem iGaming

Responsible iGaming refers to the concept of engaging in gaming activities in a manner that is controlled, enjoyable, and does not result in harm to oneself or others.


It involves understanding the risks involved, setting limits on time and money spent, and maintaining a healthy balance between online activities and other aspects of life. On the other hand, problematic behavior refers to actions that disrupt an individual's well-being, resulting in negative consequences such as financial difficulties, strained relationships, and emotional distress.


How Responsible iGaming has Changed During the Last Years

Over the years, responsible iGaming practices have evolved significantly to keep pace with social changes and advancements in technology. The introduction of online iGaming platforms and mobile apps has made this form of entertainment more accessible than ever before. Consequently, responsible measures have adapted to address the unique challenges and opportunities presented by these new platforms.


Many reputable online casinos and betting operators now prioritize responsible iGaming initiatives. They incorporate features such as self-exclusion programs, deposit limits, reality checks, and time-out options, empowering players to set boundaries and control their iGaming habits. Additionally, these platforms often provide educational resources on responsible iGaming, ensuring that players are well-informed about the risks involved and how to mitigate them.


According to recent statistics, the overall participation rate in any iGaming activity in the year leading up to March 2022 significantly increased to 43%, which is a 3 percentage point increase from the previous year. However, this rate remains lower than the pre-pandemic participation rate of 47% in the year leading up to March 2020.


The in-person iGaming participation rate in the same period increased to 26%, showing signs of recovery since the pandemic. This increase in participation appears to be driven by a return to in-person iGaming activities, such as other lotteries, sports betting, fruit and slot machines, horses, and bingo. However, the participation rates for these activities in the year leading up to March 2022 still remain below pre-pandemic levels.


Online iGaming participation remained statistically stable at 26% compared to the previous year, but it continues its long-term increase.


In terms of iGaming addiction rates, the overall headline problem iGaming rate is statistically stable at 0.2%. The moderate risk and low risk rates are also statistically stable at 0.9% and 1.4% respectively.


Who Might Be More at Risk of Problem iGaming Behaviors

When it comes to the audience most exposed to the risk of iGaming addiction, it's important to consider various factors. While it may vary depending on the region and demographics, certain groups tend to be more vulnerable. 


Younger individuals, particularly those in the age range of 18-24, are often more influenced by iGaming due to their higher exposure to online platforms and mobile apps. This demographic tends to be more tech-savvy and may find it easier to access iGaming opportunities, increasing their susceptibility to developing iGaming addiction.


Furthermore, individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions are at a higher risk. Research shows that 50% of those with iGaming addictions have had a mood disorder, most commonly depression. This highlights the complex relationship between iGaming and mental health, with iGaming potentially being used as a coping mechanism for those experiencing emotional distress.


People who have struggled with substance abuse are more likely to develop a iGaming addiction. In fact, 73% of people with iGaming addictions also have a problem with alcohol. This shows that addictive behaviors can go hand in hand and make each other worse. It's important to treat multiple dependencies at the same time.


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is another contributing factor to problem iGaming. Studies indicate that approximately 34% of problem gamblers suffer from PTSD. Trauma can lead individuals to seek relief or escape through iGaming, further increasing their risk of developing an addiction.


Finally, family history plays a role in the vulnerability to problem iGaming. Approximately 1 in 4 at-risk or problem gamblers have someone in their families who has/had a iGaming problem. Genetic and environmental factors within families can contribute to the development of iGaming-related issues, emphasizing the importance of early intervention and support systems for individuals with a family history of iGaming problems. 


However, it is crucial to note that anyone, regardless of their demographic, can be at risk, and responsible iGaming measures aim to protect all individuals from harm.


How to Prevent Addiction

Preventing iGaming addiction requires a multi-faceted approach that combines individual responsibility, industry regulations, and community support. Here are some key strategies for promoting responsible iGaming:


Self-Awareness and Informed Decision-Making: It’s crucial for players to educate themselves about the potential risks associated with gaming and gain a clear understanding of their personal limits. By being mindful of warning signs and regularly evaluating their iGaming behavior, individuals can proactively prevent addiction.


Setting Limits: Setting personal boundaries on time and financial commitments in iGaming is essential. This can be accomplished by making use of responsible gaming tools provided by operators, such as limits on deposits and time, or options for self-exclusion. According to a ResearchGate report, these tools, including limit-setting options and personalized feedback, effectively promote healthier iGaming behaviors. The report highlights that voluntary spending limits significantly reduce subsequent monetary spending among casino and lottery gamblers. By utilizing these tools, iGaming companies support their clientele in iGaming responsibly, staying within their personal limits, and fostering a safer gaming environment.


Seeking Support: If individuals recognize they have a iGaming problem or are at risk, seeking help is vital. Professional counseling, support groups, and helplines are available to provide assistance and guidance.


Industry Responsibility: Gaming operators have a responsibility to establish comprehensive policies and practices for responsible gaming. This entails providing transparent information regarding winning probabilities, presenting self-exclusion alternatives, and utilizing advanced technologies to identify and assist players who may be at risk.


Parimatch serves as a good  example of a gaming operator that takes the issue of iGaming addiction seriously. The platform not only offers users effective limit-setting tools such as spend limits, session time limits, and deposit limits but also provides a test to assess users' level of engagement in iGaming activities. In cases where users show signs of predisposition to iGaming behavior, the platform suggests implementing a "time-out" approach. These proactive measures by operators like Parimatch demonstrate their commitment to responsible iGaming and ensuring the well-being of their users.


Wrapping up

In recent years, responsible gaming practices have gained significant importance in the ever-changing landscape of the gaming industry. Distinguishing between responsible and problematic behavior is crucial, and reputable operators like Parimatch now prioritize initiatives to promote responsible gaming approach, offering features such as self-exclusion programs, deposit limits, etc. Preventing addictive patterns requires a collaborative effort involving individual responsibility, industry regulations, and community support. By fostering self-awareness, establishing personal boundaries, seeking assistance, and raising public awareness, we can create a safer and more enjoyable gaming environment for all participants.

New Times, New Rules: Responsible Gaming in the Modern Era
New Times, New Rules: Responsible Gaming in the Modern Era
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