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Events


IAGA SUMMIT Macau 2018


We are not aware of any study, which establishes a credible causal link between social games and problem gambling. A striking fact often not mentioned in public discussion is that problem and at risk gambling rates across many jurisdictions globally remain stable: the fundamentals have remained the same despite the advent and popularity of social games. There will always be rogue operators who don’t play by the rules - and those should be penalised for doing so.


* Massachusetts informational hearing on


social games (May 2016) at p128 (http://massgaming.com/wp- content/uploads/Transcript-5-10-16.pdf)


In your view, is the social gaming space adequately regulated?


Social games, social casino or otherwise, are subject to extensive consumer protection frameworks. For example, laws cover misleading commercial practices payments via carrier billing on mobile phones, privacy laws defining how your data can be used and the protection of children.


In the US, social games, like any other form of consumer activity (including video gaming and other forms of e-commerce), are subject to a wealth of federal and state consumer legislation: laws governing collection and use of personal information such as the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act 1998 (COPPA) or landmark California Online Privacy Protection Act 2003.


Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act and the state-by-state analogous “Little FTC Acts” cover the full gambit of consumer protection from false advertising, unfair and deceptive trade practices to fraud and data protection. In relation to social games this means a particular focus on transparency, accountability and consent in relation to monetisation and in- game purchases.


Similarly, in the European Union, as an online entertainment activity and an “information society service,” social games are covered by a fully harmonised framework of directives; E-Commerce, Consumer Rights, Data protection, Privacy and Unfair Commercial Practices amongst others.


IAGA


The International Association of Gaming Advisors (IAGA) will hold its 37th annual International Gaming Summit May 14 - 16 at the Four Seasons Macao in Macau, China.


P96 NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE /MARKET DATA


At the ISGA, we believe that we should go a step further than the letter of the law by promoting best practice. Our best practice principles sit in concern with existing regulations and are premised upon core values of consumer protection, accountability and transparency.


So our answer is yes - but industry must do its bit too.


When does social gaming become a problem for the online/land-based gambling operator and what protection measures should the industry adopt?


Let’s be clear that these are different industries. It is no coincidence that many of the most recent and biggest purchases in the sector have been away from gambling to non-gambling parent companies, with the sale of DoubleDown to DoubleUGames and Playtika to Giant.


Indeed, based on industry analytics firm Eilers research estimate the percentage market share for social casino companies owned by gambling parents to now stand comfortably at less than 20 per cent and trending towards 15 per cent, with only two of the top 15 developers owned by gambling parents.


We urge caution with regards studies that have emanated from the gambling studies field that rely on self-report and, at times, may have an agenda to reach a negative conclusion and stress links between social games and RMG. A common sense, and not just “academic” definition of gambling should be kept in mind. Statements by Chairman Crosby at the May 2016 Massachusetts informational hearing on social gaming are instructive in this regard:


*“Tere clearly are risks in social gaming or social casino gaming... And it's perfectly appropriate to pay attention to those risks and not inconsistent with supporting the industry...Te issue that I have is that you are the National Council on Problem Gambling not the national council on addictive behaviour. Whether this is a gambling problem or not is a legitimate issue. Kids that are too much on videogames is a legitimate issue for concern. We all have experiences with people who have real serious problems... But whether it's a gambling issue is another question for me.”


We are not aware of any study, which establishes a credible causal link between social games and problem gambling. A striking fact often not mentioned in public discussion is that problem and at risk gambling rates across many jurisdictions globally remain stable: the fundamentals have remained the same despite the advent and popularity of social games. Tere will always be rogue operators who don’t play by the rules - and those should be penalised for doing so.


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