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Problem Gambling is a process addiction disorder that acts much like an addiction to drugs or alcohol with treatment programs to help recovery.
How many gamblers are in the world?
World gambling statistics show that around 26% of the global population gamble – that equates to around 1.6 billion people with 4.2 billion worldwide gambling at least once every year.
The considerate and compassionate handling of Problem Gambling, or to be more specific, Harm Minimisation, is critical when it comes to the global gambling sector. From Australia to the US, from Kenya to the Isle of Man operators, regulators and industry stakeholders are under extreme pressure to provide meaningful solutions which sit firmly atop any media or political agenda.
Whilst the media and politicians have the sector firmly in its sights with high profile and often tragic stories of individuals who have been unable to control an addiction, the numbers afflicted with this debilitating disease remains steady at around 0.5% in the UK. The percentage may have remained small but as the numbers who gamble grow the truth is that more people have been affected and the industry is in an arms race to find solutions that can help.
The answer for us is simple and it comes with collaboration. Be it regulators aligning policy and guidance for their licensees, to operators syncing safer gambling tools, responsible gambling initiatives and making sure messages are uniform and consistent, then what is abundantly clear is that there is no one solution or one provider that will be able to resolve this.
Isle of Man Perspective
One of the Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC) core principles, alongside keeping the gambling industry crime free, is to ensure that the services offered by licence holders are fair, that players receive their true winnings, and to protect the young and those at risk. This principle is highlighted in the regulations which sits alongside the Online Gambling legislation in the Isle of Man and looks at measures such as:
- The ability to set deposit limits;
- The ability to set spending limited; or
- The ability to set loss limits.
The Commission also insists that guidance and support mechanisms such as links to sites which assists with problem gambling like GamCare or Gambling Therapy be prominent across the operators’ sites and customer engagement, and that self-exclusion guidance be well highlighted.
We work closely with you and the Commission to ensure that as a responsible operator you follow the guidance, and are on had to provide legal counsel and commercial assistance when required.
This level of self-protection and placing safeguarding controls on gaming operators speaks volumes for the gaming industry here in the island. The problem gambler is shown the ways to seek help from experts. Even if that problem gambler hesitates to take the initiative, or believes themselves to have no problem at all, they are still shielded from outside oppression. Those who profit from the gaming industry if they themselves wish to stay in the game have no choice but to act responsibly. Operators must safeguard gamblers – not just those with a problem, but everyone who wants to enjoy themselves in games of chance.