Online gambling is one of the fastest-growing areas of entertainment. As popularity grows, so does the number of people experiencing problems with gambling.
The negative impact of gambling is not a new phenomenon. One of the main reasons is that players cannot perceive gambling as just entertainment. Therefore, the most honest and responsible platforms, with the participation of state bodies, develop laws and special regulatory instruments.
However, these tools aim to combat the adverse effects of gambling and control the situation. One of these is GamStop.
The Current State of Gambling in Ireland: A Brief Overview
Gambling in Ireland has long been a popular method of entertainment and a good area of legal business. The number of offline and online casinos is growing yearly, but there is still one problem many providers and the government are struggling with.
Gambling addiction has become a real problem in the world of online casinos, including the Irish market. Due to their wide availability at any time, it is very difficult for many players to control their gambling habits. The Gambling Regulation Bill was published in Ireland in mid-2022. It repeals the current laws governing gambling in the country and creates a new licensing and regulatory regime overseen by the "Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland" (GRAI).
The law also introduces a number of measures designed to protect players. License holders must ensure that customers can set monetary and time limits on their participation in gambling.
GamStop Experience Conclusions: Potential Areas of Improvement for GRAI
To comply with the law and allow players to control their game, online casinos usually offer various methods of restriction. In nearby Great Britain, it’s GamStop: you will hardly find non GamStop casinos in the UK. In general, there are several types of regulations in regard to online gambling:
- Self-exclusion. If you want to stop playing completely for a certain period of time, most casinos allow you to block access to the resource.
- Deposit limits. Gamblers can set a deposit limit that will help them to control in-game spending by only allowing them to deposit a certain amount.
- Loss limits. This is similar to the effect of deposit limits but also applies to money already deposited into the account and is available for use.
- Wagering limits. This type of restriction is similar to the previous limits; however, it limits the amount of wagering for a certain period. The game's results (winning or losing) do not affect the specified limits.
- Game duration limits. Some casinos apply a game length limit that allows you to play for a predetermined time within a selected period.
But despite all the efforts to improve the gambling experience for Irish players, there are still a number of problems that most casinos face when using the GamStop program.
Self-Exclusion Implementation Boosts Unregulated Gambling
Unfortunately, despite the experience of UKGC improvements to gambling standards that can be assimilated by GRAI, there are many problems that must be addressed. One of them is that programs like GamStop can stimulate unregulated gambling: the current laws work only on registered platforms with the appropriate license from the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland. If gamblers want to play in a casino or place bets elsewhere, they can simply find a platform registered outside Ireland.
Some casinos deliberately do not use self-exclusion opportunities for gamblers to reap big rewards. Especially when it comes to bingo and card games that are organized offline. This is where you can often find gamblers who are out of control and have an addiction.
New Rules Require Significant Investment in Data Protection
Privacy and the transfer of personal data are very serious topics of discussion among gamblers, casinos, and relevant authorities in the country. The main problem is that resources for storing data such as an identifier, payment details, driver's license, and billing address become limited at a certain moment, and new investments must be attracted. Not all casinos have a budget that can cover all the costs of cloud storage for GamStop, and in turn, the corresponding commissions do not help them much in this.
Self-Exclusion is More Effective if it is Voluntary
With the problem of gambling addiction rising in Ireland, GamStop and other similar self-exclusion mechanisms are crucial. But the only problem is that only the voluntary and independent decision of the player should be decisive. Sometimes it happens that the "self-exclusion" was not independent (for example, a family member registered a player on GamStop), which leads to a conflict of interest. The gambler will look for alternative online casinos or betting sites. Therefore, such an aspect should still be at a person's will, controlled by all participants, and not automated at all stages.
Discussions on gambling regulations have been stirring up for a while in Irish society. Some countries, including Ireland, have added the principles and practices of responsible gambling to their legislation. This usually includes national registries of people banned from playing for various reasons and the control of casino activities. Tools like GamStop are necessary and important, but their functioning still has several problems and drawbacks.