Ron Mendelson is the Director of Costa-Rica based International Business & Corporate Services consultancy firm, Fast Offshore. With over 24 years of real-world experience in iGaming Licensing and Payments, Regulatory Compliance, Tax-Efficient Corporate Structuring, Incubator and other Hedge Fund Licenses, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency related services, he advises a number of international clients on their business needs in the Americas, Europe, and beyond.
The online gambling industry is going from strength to strength with big revenue increases predicted by the end of 2020. Some analysts predict that the global industry could even surpass $100 billion by 2025.
While this growth is all very well and good, some looking to enjoy its success may be tempted to cut corners. Online gambling is a competitive, fast-paced, and demanding industry but that doesn’t mean ethics should be ignored. Following ethical iGaming standards, meeting legal obligations, and ensuring transparency is just as important as the games on offer.
Avoiding legal pitfalls
The main advantage of complying with the law is that you will not end up arrested. Operating in an unethical manner can land you in court, prison, or result in you getting your license revoked. Regulators take these matters very seriously and financial penalties for non-compliance are severe. You must also consider the reputational damage that such action against you could incur. Staying on the right side of the law should be something every operator strives for. Any perceived benefits of cutting corners are a logical fallacy. The cost of getting caught- and you will get caught- far outweigh any ‘benefits’.
Preserving your reputation
It takes a lot of work to build a good reputation, particularly in the online gambling market. With so much competition, building an image based on trust and transparency ensures your customers are more likely to gamble with you.
Good reputations are fickle, however- just one wrong move and all of your hard work can be undone. One wronged client, one data leak, or a compliance issue, and all of your marketing effort can be undone. Lawsuits or regulatory action against you will leave your reputation in tatters and your clients deserting you in droves. Staying on top of compliance and ethical matters is an integral part of preserving your hard-earned good reputation.
Improved customer loyalty
Your customers want to gamble with a company that will treat them fairly and legally, and not take advantage of them. If you operate transparently and fairly, they will continue using your service- it’s as simple as that. With hundreds of online gambling sites in the market, keeping your clients happy is the key to retaining them. Remember, an unhappy client is likely to go elsewhere and tell everyone about their experience. This could provide long term damage, particularly if the news spreads. Be sure to offer responsive customer service, resolve disputes promptly, and abide by the law. This way, your customers will keep coming back for more.
More business opportunities
Operating ethically and maintaining a good reputation will open up a wealth of other business opportunities for you. If you have a license and are abiding by the laws, there are plenty of chances for lucrative collaborations on the table. Advertising, partnerships, sponsorships, and affiliates will all be plentiful, as long as your reputation is intact. No brand wants to tarnish their image by working with a shady platform. Likewise, banks, software companies, and payment providers will only work with those that they deem are honorable. As long as you play by the rules, you will find yourself able to engage in plenty of mutually beneficial partnerships with industry stakeholders.
It’s the right thing to do
Last but not least, being ethical and compliant as an iGaming operator is the right thing to do. Operating outside of the law isn’t a good working ethic and will ultimately result in your downfall. Regulators and authorities are continually cracking down on illegal or non-compliant operations. While it might be possible to hide for a short time, in the long-term, it’s just not worth it. It is better at the set-up stage to ensure you are compliant with all necessary rules and regulations. If you are already operating and want to be sure you are doing so correctly, engage a professional to assess your policies and processes.
There is no doubt that ethics, responsible gaming, and compliance are here to stay. These should be the core foundations of any online gambling companies ethos. Furthermore, they should be encouraged and promoted by responsible corporate service providers. Anyone who advises cutting corners should not be trusted as the chances are they are doing the same with you. Strive for honesty in your work and the reward will come in the form of success, happy customers, and increased revenue.