Modern casinos have an increasingly narrower tightrope to walk when it comes to regulation. While the industry still thrives today, greater and greater steps are always being taken to try and limit the impact gambling can have on people’s lives. Whether the regulations themselves are effective and appropriate is one question, but what exactly are the newer regulations affecting modern casinos?
Naturally, there are many areas of the industry under tight scrutiny, and with each year that passes that scrutiny grows ever more minute.
Let’s look at some of the ways that regulations affect modern casinos.
On a basic level, what policy makers have agreed on is that individuals have the right to enjoy gambling as part of normal adult life. This is the fundamental guiding principle. That said, it’s also necessary to ensure adequate regulation to protect the consumer in its dealings with large business.
When it comes to casinos themselves, they have been heavily regulated some would argue. Historically, there has been a great deal of opposition to gambling from religious movements and organisations. That, now, has more or less ceased to affect casinos directly.
Still, though, they must follow policy regulations about the age groups they allow into their casinos—only over 18s. They must also follow strict guidelines for high-stakes machine-based games, like slots, that they run. For example, these slots machines must now clearly display a player’s losses as they are playing. Credit cards are also no longer allowed for many casino games and online casinos.
Ultimately, though, more or less all forms of gambling are legal for licensed establishments played only by over 18s. Again, while casinos have become more heavily regulated over the years, the fundamental guiding principle remains that it should be allowed for consenting adults who are protected by regulation.
The other complex regulatory question surrounding casinos, especially here in the U.K., is about territories and where and when casinos like Casinopick can operate. The U.K. encompasses a great many distinct territories and regions, culturally and geographically.
England, Wales and Scotland fall into their own legal territory. Northern Ireland shares many laws with the rest of the U.K., but ultimately abides by a separate piece of legislation. Beyond that, you then have subdivisions of the Gambling Commission for Channel Islands like Alderney, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man, which are technically dependencies of the Crown, all operate under distinct and separate jurisdictions.
Within all of this, the thing that casinos have to reckon with is that the issuing of licenses and related matters is a matter for their local authority. While the laws, broadly speaking, follow the same patterns, it’s still important that modern casinos directly are aware of their local regulatory body and its individual policies.
Finally, perhaps the way in which regulation is most conspicuous to the average consumer is in the realm of advertising. Again, the overall guiding principle is that licensed casinos are permitted to advertise themselves and their services. The most important regulatory reform in the last few decades has been around preventing unlicensed casinos to advertise what are effectively illegal gambling services.
While there are no strict and official rules about the style or the content of a particular advert, the fact is that whatever network the casino advertises on will also have its own regulations. Social responsibility is the bottom line, and this is what the rules and regulations of the Gambling Commission refer to.
One specific regulation regards ads that could potentially appeal to under 18s. There must be no attempt to appeal to youth culture, whether to unlawfully attract underage children to gambling or to groom them to be prepared for it when they come of age.
Casinos, like any other business, must put advertising and marketing at the heart of their approach to improving future business. Advertising is already fairly heavily regulated in its own right, before he addition of regulations specific to gambling. This issue of social responsibility is at its core, and for the most part, the biggest casinos are more than happy to effectively self-regulate when it comes to advertising.
Advertising is perhaps the area where changes are most common to the regulation, and so this constant change can be one of the biggest challenges for casinos.
What’s clear is that governments over the years have felt there was a growing need for regulation on an industry which was never, really, the subject of an outright ban—at least in the U.K. These issues become complex and often difficult to disentangle as we get into questions of territory and offshore gambling. However, what is overall clear to me is that regulation always has the consumer’s welfare at heart. Casinos are great establishments when run properly, but the external regulation of these establishments is more than necessary.