Gambling is a popular past time in the United States due to the ability to enjoy fun entertainment for real money. Across the nation, players have access to a plethora of gaming options, from websites to land-based casino and gaming parlors. The driving force behind these industries is money and with technology rapidly changing seemingly on a daily basis, players have more options than ever to use real money to play their favorite casino games.
Because of the new payment processing method being introduced into the gambling industry, the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) has announced new guidelines to help protect consumers from harm. These guidelines were constructed for payment processors to provide information, player control and shared responsibility among those who are providing outlets for payment in the gambling industry.
The NCPG guidelines point out the critical role that payment processors play in reducing negative consequences associated with gambling. This can include bankruptcy and debt on the financial side as well as homelessness, lost relationships and suicide. Companies that make a profit from gambling have a responsibility socially to ensure harm reduction among consumers.
The payment methods offered for gambling, like PayPal, credit cards and even cash, play a role in how quickly as well as easily players have access to money. The options used by players dictate how much money they can receive to play as well as any costs to the player, like interest rate charges or fees from the ATM.
Advances in payment technology, such as e-wallets, make it even easier to access digital payment methods, which are used for online gameplay. Because of the on-demand availability, the NCPG worries that players will be more willing to spend more or go beyond their means in the heat of the moment.
With the new options, players are more at a risk. However, payment processors can easily provide solutions to reduce the risk, such as allowing players to set limits for themselves. The guidelines set forth by the NCPG, titled Guidelines for Payments Processing, will help the industry learn more about solutions that will help the issue.
According to NCPG executive director Keith Whyte, the guidelines are based on a consumer choice model and will help processors play a role in reducing addiction to gambling.
The NCPG is calling for payment processors to act in a certain manner to protect consumers from potential harm. Such changes include encouraging players to set their own limits for time spent gaming or money spent. Personalized responsible gambling messages are also being promoted as a way to stop players from going to far with their gaming.
Players should also be provided with a way to self-exclude from gambling sites or land-based lotions along with synchronizing their self-exclusion with lists among other venues as well as state-wide. The NCPG is also recommending that payment processing companies research signs of problematic play as well as develop models that can be used to predict excessive usage as well as prevent it.
Several topics are included in the guidelines like Know Your Customer, which covers providing players with access to details about their accounts as well as self-exclusion details, research and transaction history.
With these new guidelines, the NCPG is hoping that payment processors will make a conscious effort to ensure player are protected which will only benefit their customers as well as the gambling industry as a whole.