International edition
October 27, 2021

By Ron Mendelson, Fast Offshore Founding Partner

Barriers to online gambling and how to combat them

Barriers to online gambling and how to combat them
"Most player’s negative perceptions come from the bad behaviour of a handful of operators. This reinforces how important it is that operators stick to the rules and become licensed," Ron Mendelson says.
United Kingdom | 08/27/2021

In his latest column for Yogonet, the igaming industry consultant analyzes the results of a survey on the obstacles that prevent people from gambling online. 48% of respondents said they did not trust gambling sites, while 11% consider gambling immoral. 10% of potential players said they do not trust operators or processing companies with their credit card details.

Ron Mendelson is the Director of Costa-Rica based International Business & Corporate Services consultancy firm, Fast Offshore. With ... (+ Info)

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arlier this year, YouGov, a British market research and data analytics company, surveyed the obstacles that prevent people from gambling online. The results provide an insight into the attitudes and habits of those who gamble and those who do not.

While the study results are specific to a UK audience, it’s possible to assume they could reflect attitudes elsewhere. Furthermore, some ideas for overcoming these barriers could be implemented effectively in any jurisdiction. 

The odds are against them

When asked why they hadn’t gambled in the last year, a combined 48% of respondents said it was because they didn’t trust gambling sites. More specifically, 27% said they thought the odds were stacked against them, and 21% said they didn’t think they could or would “win big.”

It’s a fact that in gambling, the odds are stacked in favour of the house. But, there are rules in place to give players a chance to win and to win big. The primary safeguard in place is Random Number Generators or provably fair algorithms. Any reputable licensing authority will require that one of these is in place when you launch a gambling platform.

An RNG is a system where numbers are generated randomly. These numbers are sequential and should not be able to be reasonably predicted by random chance. They are used in all online games of chance and mean that the player has a fair chance at winning, based on the legal parameters of the odds. Licensing authorities require that these RNGs are certified by a third party. They may also carry out random spot checks to ensure they are fair.

Provably fair is an algorithm that can be analyzed by an external third party and by the player to ensure the games, wagers, and outcomes relating to their activity are fair. The outcomes of the algorithm are registered on the blockchain, meaning they are immutable and cannot be tampered with.

If players understand that the fairness of a site is managed by such technology, certified, and supervised, they will likely be more confident. They should also only gamble with licensed sites where it’s clear that an RNG or provably fair system is used.

Gambling is immoral

The issue of whether gambling is immoral is a big and controversial one. 11% of respondents said it was immoral, but only 8% said it was against their beliefs. This means a chunk thinks it’s not moral, based on opinion and not cultural or religious matters. 

Not only are licensed sites required to ensure the games are fair, but they must also take care of their players. Many jurisdictions require operators to have comprehensive responsible gambling policies in place. This includes ensuring under 18s don’t use the site for gambling. Others are needed to implement self-exclusionary policies and to take steps to prevent problem gambling. 

Alerts, bans and limits, proper onboarding, monitoring of activity, ethical advertising, and displaying or providing gambling addiction organization details are just some of the ways operators can operate ethically

Concerns of overspending

Some 10% of respondents said they are worried they might spend too much. A further 9% were worried they might get addicted, and 5% said they didn’t trust themselves. These are valid concerns for players, but there are ways they can be helped. 

Recently the UK stopped people from paying to gamble with credit cards. Similar plans are in the works in other jurisdictions, and some operators have already taken the initiative not to allow payment with credit. This is a way to look out for players, restore confidence, and increase credibility as an operator.

Additionally, providing information on problem gambling, how to get help, and providing an alert system for deposits and wagers, can help players be more confident in the service you’re providing.

Security concerns

Almost 10% of potential players said they don’t trust operators or processing companies with their card details. Despite the proliferation of online shopping and the normalization of using cards online, concerns and doubts remain. The key to offering customers a reassuring online gambling experience is taking security seriously. This includes offering SSL encryption, making that fact public, and taking other measures to protect them.

In terms of payment methods, you should be giving them multiple options including cards, popular and respected payment processors, and even cryptocurrency. If a potential customer sees they can pay with well-known processors and payment providers, they will feel more secure. Likewise, if you offer payments via digital wallets, they can use a familiar platform to transact, further increasing security.

Undecided

A staggering 32% of respondents said they had no particular reason for not gambling online. This means that around one-third are essentially neutral and haven’t formed any negative opinions. This means that they are ripe for marketing responsibly and ethically.

Most player’s negative perceptions come from the bad behaviour of a handful of operators. This reinforces how important it is that operators stick to the rules and become licensed. Failure to do so will ultimately impact the industry and the future profitability of the sector. When setting up or running an online gambling site, it’s always important to partner with a corporate service provider who shares your values.

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