After conducting extensive research and a comprehensive study of the opinions of market participants, a rather interesting position regarding social gambling was taken by the UK regulator. In short: a social casino is not a full-fledged casino, and it does not need to be regulated. And, therefore, no additional measures are required to protect players from gambling addiction. Which is weird, since most of social casinos has various casino games like real online pokies in Australia.
It is worth paying attention to this position based on the fact that the British gambling industry is actually the locomotive of the entire world online gambling industry (casinos in particular), adopting new methods of regulation among the first, and giving a quick start to pioneering and innovative initiatives. But before we talk about it further, we need to understand what social casino is.
What is a social casino?
Some games that are available on the Internet may look like gambling, but do not meet this definition. Sometimes they have the appearance of online pokies, which uses cards or dice as a symbols and brings prizes. In them, no real money is paid out as winnings – the role of rewards is played by virtual coins required for betting. From the point of view of the legislation of different countries, games in which no money is paid out cannot be classified as gambling.
The line between social gaming and commercial gambling is now becoming very blurred for several reasons:
- Social media is increasingly being used for social and gambling.
- Online casino and social media products are becoming increasingly close to each other.
- Online pokies software developers are creating many new products and making large investments to promote them on social media like Facebook.
The boundaries between social casinos and real gambling
To examine this topic more closely, the UK Gambling Commission made a detailed review, working through the issue with several regulators and also working with the social gaming industry – this allowed us to assess the risks associated with social gambling.
To summarize the data, we can conclude the following:
- While the data shows that the vast majority of people who play social games tend to spend a very small amount of time and money, there is clearly a very small group who spend significant amounts of money in this type of entertainment. However, it is likely that this group is not large enough to activate any additional law making and regulatory intervention processes.
- While playing social games alone does not seem harmful (to the vast majority of players), it is much less clear whether in some circumstances it leads to or causes more harmful behaviour like gambling addiction.
As a conclusion, we can note that Social Casino games are used to promote real gambling to hook up a new audience and convert them to gamblers. However, social casino games are not regulated in any way in compared to gambling.