In a previous article, I spoke about the different regulatory jurisdictions that apply to different parts of the world. In today’s article, I will be talking specifically about the regulatory bodies that exercise these jurisdictions. In the United Kingdom (UK), there is Gamstop, Spelpaus in Sweden, the Autonomous Administration of the State Monopolies (AAMS) in Italy, and Arjel in France. The purpose of these regulatory bodies are to protect retail players like us from any possible collusion amongst the various casino operators in the industry. This may seem like a pretty dry topic but believe me it is of extreme importance and should be something that you look out for when picking a casino to play.
Gamstop is a voluntary function supported by the UK government in helping people snap out of their gambling problems. Casinos registered under the UKGC are automatically placed under Gamstop. Players who feel the need for some sort of intervention to stamp out their gambling problems can simply sign up with Gamstop. Players that have signed up with gamstop will be barred from accessing any UKGC licensed casinos for a period of time, determined by the player when he first registered. However, there are lots of casinos out there that are actually not with gamstop or not licensed under the UKGC and therefore not required to block access to these players.
Spelpaus is a voluntary suspension system for betting with money in Sweden. It is part of the gaming inspectorate in Sweden. The suspension applies to all licensed gaming companies in Sweden. Through Game Break, users will automatically be switched off from these casinos and block direct marketing on it. Every licensed casino will have a play pause button which if selected, the player will be suspended from all types of games for a certain period and the only way for him to gamble is by playing at casinos without a Swedish licence. The player then decides for himself how long this period should be ranging from months to till further notice.
It is both interesting and worthy to point out that the Italian Criminal Law actually proclaims gambling to be illegal whether it is organised at a public or private place. However, the law also recognises a difference between games of luck and games of skills. Sports betting lotteries fall into the category of legal and regulated gambling activities. In Italy, only the AAMS has the power to issue licenses and regulate gambling matters. There are several aspects of licensing for different purposes. This helps to prevent businesses from acquiring such licenses easily and be imbued with tremendous discretionary power in terms of running their businesses. To qualify for an online gambling license, operators are required to adhere and provide evidence that they can meet the requirements lay out by the AAMS. For example, operators must prove that they are able to function at a high technical level, providing stable, secure, and easy-to-use services. The number of licenses that can be issued by AAMS is limited to 200 and the only way for Italian players to gamble away from AAMS is by playing at non aams sites.
Arjel is an independent administrative authority specifically designed to regulate online gambling in France. It was created to enhance competition and sector regulation of gambling and online gambling, with the goal of ultimately protecting retail players without contravening the interest of businesses. Arjel issues approvals or licenses to operators and conducts audits to ensure compliance from time to time. The organisation also help to protect and aid the vulnerable in their fight against gambling addiction. They also help to sieve out fraud sites to protect the vulnerable. One of the added purpose as compared to the other bodies is the fight against fraud and money laundering, which many online casinos are known for doing. They have fined unlicensed sites for allowing French players, and so they are extremely powerful in France.
In conclusion, these regulatory bodies are established to help protect the vulnerable retail players like us as we go about enjoying our favourite games on these online casinos. However, as these casinos bring about economic benefits, the government has to consider their interest as well. Therefore, the ideal way of going about it is to create a regulatory body to monitor their actions and ensure that they comply with the regulations of fairplay as established in the country. Some people might complain that such bodies contravenes one freedom of choice. However, I would say, better be limited than getting conned of your hard earned money. That is the only sensible thing to do. Therefore, the next time you access an online casino, do make sure that you check out the licensing of the country because it is there to protect you.