Regulations will get worse if operators don’t act now

The gambling industry likely won’t see stable regulations all around the world for a very long time. As discussed at the Betting on Sports Europe Digital summit, operators are just going to have to step up and prove they have the customers safety at heart if they want to win over the public’s trust.

That was the agreed upon sentiment from regulators and operators alike. As Sandhya Singh, Head of Risk and Fraud at Napoleon Sports and Casino, put it:

“If I’m a customer and I go and play on a website, I need to feel protected. So, I want each of my Napoleon customers to feel that when they are on our website, they should see all our procedures that we have in places and know that it is an absolutely ethical site they are playing on.”

That’s necessary, because as PAF’s Chief Responsibility Officer, Daniela Johansson put it, individual operators have to do more to overshadow those that take the spotlight with bad behavior. “The gambling industry has taken a lot of positive steps forward but for every step forward, there is a negative story and that will kill the advancements that have been made in the industry,” she said. “We need the support and society to believe that we are a sustainable business.”

Johansson pointed to loss limits as a way to do this. “We are trying to work to be in front; we’re trying to pre-empt things and not just follow regulatory trends,” she said. “And I think that’s one of the main things we need to do in this industry and hopefully what each company can also help drive.”

This is all necessary because, as moderator and Director at Clifton Davies Consultancy, David Clifton pointed out, even if you make one jurisdiction happy, you may not be doing enough in another. A “harmonising of laws” is very far away. Martin Lycka, GVC’s Director of Regulatory Affairs, agreed, suggesting that “one-size-fits-all” regulations aren’t likely going to happen. Operators need to be ready to adapt to their environment.

If operators don’t prove to the world that they’re doing far more than expected, regulations might just keep getting tougher. Clifton noted political winds are not currently in their favor. “For the first time ever, each one of the four major political [U.K.] parties had gambling reform that factor within their general election manifestos at the end of last year,” he said. “That is something we’ve never seen before.”