Since the early days of computer technology, programmers have been using their skills to entertain themselves and others in the form of computer games. Technological advancements have seen gaming evolve from simple games with minimal graphics to full online versions of some of the most popular games in the world.
Today, online casino games are hugely popular worldwide and a billion pound industry has developed around them. Many bricks and mortar bookmakers have launched online casinos and players can enjoy digital versions of their favourite game whenever and wherever they choose.
Casino games are still firm favourites
While there are a range of different games available, even modern gamers still enjoy traditional casino games such as poker, slots, roulette, baccarat and blackjack. Many of these have been reimagined with different themes, added bonus games and other entertaining elements that make for engaging game play.
With a rise in player numbers increasing the demand for online games, there are a range of gaming websites offering a variety of different games. People can play with their friends, meet like-minded players online or enjoy a game on their own in a quiet moment.
Although the quality of the games and the special offers available might play a part in choosing one site over another, safety and security should be a priority. Legitimate sites, such as winkslots, will have robust security policies in place and protection for their players.
Keeping players safe online
Gambling sites have a duty to ensure that they are providing a safe environment for their customers and there are a number of areas where that comes into play. These include advertising, identity verification, offering effective self-exclusion schemes, and responding appropriately to complaints.
The national regulator for gambling sites is the Gambling Commission, a government agency that is responsible for licensing gambling businesses, including websites. Every licensee must adhere to their codes of practice and the commission carries out assessments to ensure that all businesses adhere to the regulations surrounding gaming.
The laws surrounding gambling are updated periodically to take into account new trends such as online and mobile gambling. Recent changes include new verification rules for online gaming and stake limits on betting terminals, both of which were brought in in 2019.
In order to preserve the fun of online gambling, it is important to promote a safe and secure gaming environment. This is one aspect of the Gambling Commission’s remit: ensuring that players can enjoy the games they love without risking their online security to do so.
Some of the key elements of the Gambling Commissions work include:
Using credit cards to make payments
Gambling businesses are not allowed to accept payments from credit cards in order to prevent people from getting into debt by potentially losing borrowed money. The Gambling Commission has introduced regulations to ensure that gambling businesses do not accept credit card payments.
These have had to be updated to include online gaming sites, where the origins of a deposit can be harder to trace. Despite this, they bear responsibility for ensuring that payments made from third parties, such as online services like PayPal and digital wallets, did not originate from a credit card.
Gambling age limits
Enforcing age limits – all gambling businesses are responsible for ensuring that they enforce age limits for players and ensure that no under 18s are able to gamble in person or online. This requires rigorous procedures for checking identification in-person and also requires gaming sites to check the ages of players before they can register or play online.
Reducing gambling harms
The Gambling Commission is also concerned with reducing the harm that can occur when gambling becomes problematic for players. They work with the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling to develop strategies that reduce the risks for players.
The board makes recommendations to the Gambling Commission on a range of matters affecting the industry. These include observing and assessing the impact of gambling on young people, assessing the effectiveness of online gambling restrictions and researching the impact of gambling as a public health concern.
All gambling sites should abide by the rules and regulations that protect their players, so any players that want to be sure they are using a reputable site can check. Businesses should have details of their registration on the site, so visitors can check that they are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission.
The lower age limit for gambling is 18, so any reputable site should ask for a date of birth before allowing entry. Payment system should also be secure, and sites should offer players the option to place a voluntary cap on their spending to help limit the potential for problem gambling.
Players should also be able to self-exclude from gaming sites to help manage any problem behaviour they identify through the GAMSTOP service. The National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme Limited run this and covers all licensed gambling sites in the UK to prevent any registered player from accessing them for a period of time.
Sites all have slightly different terms and conditions, but these should still align with the national rules and regulations that cover gambling. Special offers and promotions may have additional terms and conditions attached to them, but these should be clearly displayed to ensure that players are aware before they play.
The regulations exist to ensure that all gaming takes place in a safe environment with transparent processes governing all activities. Innovations, research, and increased awareness inform changes to the regulations and guidance in order to protect players.