This is a Guest Blog by Dmitriy Belianin, CCO, Parimatch International
In recent years, the iGaming industry has experienced significant growth, with millions of players worldwide enjoying online casinos, sports betting, and other digital gambling activities. Despite its popularity, there are still common fears and doubts surrounding this niche that deserve closer examination. In this article, we will delve into the 5 most common doubts about iGaming and provide facts and statistics to shed light on this often misunderstood industry.
- Fairness and Rigged Games
Doubt: Many skeptics question the fairness of online casino games, suspecting that they are rigged in favor of the house.
Fact: iGaming operators are subject to strict regulations and licensing requirements in many jurisdictions, ensuring fair play. Additionally, online casinos use Random Number Generators (RNGs) to ensure the unpredictability of game outcomes, making it virtually impossible to rig games. In fact, land-based casinos have been known to have more instances of rigged games than their online counterparts.
Statistic: According to the UK Gambling Commission, the average return to player (RTP) percentage for online slots, one of the most popular iGaming categories, is typically around 96%. This is often higher than the RTP for slot machines in land-based casinos.
- Addiction Concerns
Doubt: Critics argue that iGaming contributes to gambling addiction, as it offers easy access to betting and gaming activities.
Fact: While it’s true that excessive gambling can lead to addiction, it’s essential to note that responsible gambling measures are a priority for the iGaming industry.
Many online casinos provide tools and resources for players to set deposit limits, self-exclude, or seek help if they feel they have a gambling problem. Parimatch is a great example of a gaming operator that takes gambling addiction seriously. The platform goes beyond by providing users with effective tools to set limits, like spend limits, session time limits, and deposit limits. Moreover, Parimatch offers a comprehensive assessment test to gauge users’ level of engagement in gambling activities. If someone shows signs of being at risk for gambling problems, they suggest taking a break from gambling. These actions by operators like Parimatch show that they truly care about responsible gambling and the well-being of their users.
Statistic: A study by the National Council on Problem Gambling found that less than 2% of the U.S. population could be classified as problem gamblers, suggesting that the majority of iGaming participants do not develop gambling addictions.
Also, according to a survey by the National Council on Problem Gambling, 43% of U.S. states have implemented responsible gambling measures, including self-exclusion programs and helplines for individuals with gambling addiction.
In the Asian market, a responsible gaming approach is gaining attention as the online gambling market grows rapidly. A survey conducted by the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) found that approximately 40% of Indian adults have participated in some form of online gambling activity, indicating a growing interest in the market. Recognizing the importance of responsible gambling practices, more than 60% of online gambling platforms in India have implemented responsible gaming features as of 2021, as reported by the AIGF.
- Underage Gaming
Doubt: There is a common belief that iGaming platforms do not do enough to prevent underage individuals from participating in online gambling.
Fact: iGaming operators take underage gambling seriously and implement stringent age verification processes. These processes often involve the submission of identification documents and age checks to ensure that only individuals of legal gambling age can access their services.
Statistic: According to a report by the UK Gambling Commission, in 2020, the percentage of young people (11-16 years old) who had participated in gambling activities was relatively low, with only 11% of respondents having done so. Strict age verification measures and awareness campaigns play a significant role in preventing underage gaming.
In India, where the legal gambling age varies by state, iGaming operators are increasingly collaborating with local authorities to ensure strict age verification procedures are in place, preventing underage individuals from engaging in online gambling.
- Data Privacy and Cybersecurity:
Doubt: Concerns about the safety of personal and financial information are prevalent, with many fearing that iGaming platforms may not adequately protect sensitive data, making players vulnerable to cyberattacks and data breaches.
Fact: iGaming operators invest heavily in cybersecurity measures to safeguard player data. Encryption technologies, secure payment gateways, and strict data protection protocols are commonly employed to protect user information.
Statistic: In 2020, the iGaming industry experienced a 29% increase in cyberattacks compared to the previous year, according to a report by ThreatMetrix. This data highlights the industry’s attractiveness to cybercriminals and the importance of robust cybersecurity measures.
- Money Laundering
Doubt: iGaming platforms are sometimes accused of being a haven for money laundering activities due to the large sums of money involved.
Fact: The iGaming industry is subject to anti-money laundering (AML) regulations and stringent customer due diligence (CDD) requirements. Operators are required to monitor transactions and report suspicious activities to relevant authorities.
Statistic: The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) reported that the European online gambling sector spent €340 million on AML measures in 2019 alone, highlighting the industry’s commitment to combating money laundering.
In India, as the online gambling market rapidly expands, government and regulatory bodies are actively working with iGaming operators to enforce stringent AML regulations. This involves robust KYC (know your customer) procedures and transaction monitoring systems. These measures aim to ensure industry integrity and prevent any misuse of online gambling platforms for money laundering. This partnership between Indian authorities and iGaming companies demonstrates a concerted effort to maintain transparency and eliminate financial misconduct in the sector.
While doubts and fears about iGaming persist, it is essential to separate fact from fiction. The iGaming industry has made significant strides in enhancing fairness, responsible gambling practices, and player protection. As the industry continues to evolve and innovate, addressing these concerns remains a top priority, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for players worldwide.