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Responsible gaming is taking a step forward for US online poker and casino sites.
The National Council on Problem Gambling is throwing its support behind a new self-exclusion technology called GameSecure from Bencon Technologies. The new tech allows at-risk gamblers to self-exclude from all online gambling sites in a jurisdiction at the same time, rather than having to self-exclude from each company’s site one-by-one.
The Vancouver-based company is hoping the new technology will reduce risk to self-excluded online gamblers and industry operators by simplifying the self-exclusion process.
That type of industry-wide syncing of self-exclusion is something the NCPG has championed for a long time, and GameSecure is the first meaningful development on that front.
“We really support this initiative,” said Keith Whyte, Executive Director of the NCPG. “GameSecure provides a timely and much-needed option for regulators and operators to use technology to solve a major problem in regulated gaming today. Currently even well-intentioned self-exclusion programs fail players and operators because they do not provide coverage and support seamlessly across a jurisdiction. We strongly encourage all stakeholders to adopt innovative programs like GameSecure as an ethical and effective way to conduct gaming responsibly and reduce the social costs of gambling addiction.”
GameSecure is a good, and important first step, but it’s not a catchall. Unless jurisdictions share self-exclusion lists as part of their responsible gaming regulations, self-excluded players will be able to cross state lines and continue to gamble.
It’s unsurprising that blanket self-exclusion is debuting in the online gaming sector.
Legal online gambling has introduced a number of new responsible gaming policies not found in the land-based casino industry.
“Online really challenges aspects of the traditional terrestrial responsible gaming model,” Whyte told PlayNJ.com last year.
Online is also providing a wealth of data on player behaviors and the usage of responsible gaming features for researchers to pore through and further fine-tune responsible gaming policies.
Rutgers University’s Center for Gambling Studies has been conducting research into the New Jersey online gambling industry since it launched, and that research has led to a number of recommendations, some of which have been adopted by the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement.