Gaming companies have a duty to uphold the highest responsible gambling standards to ensure that their players are protected. And according to Denis Ilienkov, CPO at Softswiss, the Softswiss online casino platform can help operators to do this.
Speaking to CasinoBeats, Ilienkov dives into some of the responsible gaming features available via the Softswiss online casino platform before explaining why interactions between operators and players will undoubtedly evolve in the coming years.
CasinoBeats: The Softswiss online casino platform includes a number of player limits, can you tell us a bit about those? What do these include?
The SOFTSWISS online casino platform uses a number of native responsible gambling tools. Among the available limits are both those determined by the operator, and those initiated by the player, whether that is setting time limits and spending limits in the casino.
One of the simplest and most common responsible gambling limits is the deposit limit, where a player can cap their deposit sum for a certain period of time: day, week or month. This limit is quite flexible and may be cancelled or changed, the player decides how strict the limit is.
Loss limits and wager limits are also quite popular and widespread. With the former the player limits the amount they can lose in a casino, while with the latter the player sets a limit on the total sum they can bet over a period of time.
To control the time spent in a casino, the player can set session limits. The system will then simply log you out and prevent you from logging in when the time limit has expired. A variation of a session limit is one in which the player puts a restriction on the time spent in the casino over a specific period of time. Such limits are obligatory, for example, in Greece.
In exceptional circumstances there are self exclusion limits, which prevent the player from even logging into their account. While the previous types of limits can be changed in the player account or through a special support chat, the self exclusion limit is available with a permanent exclusion.
In other words, this means a lifetime ban from the casino. A less extreme option is to take advantage of a cooling off period, which allows a user to log in and be in the account, but blocks the chance to place bets or make deposits.
There are a certain number of responsible gambling limits and tools that are relevant only for casinos operating under the Malta licence and some local licences. For example, the reality check. This is a pop up banner that appears after a certain period of time and shows how much a player has won and lost during the time spent in the casino. It can both be a call to action to take a break from gameplay, or a reminder to be mindful about your betting habits.
Another interesting tool is the ability to block a player automatically across all casinos operating under a particular licence. In participating casinos, the bettor is blocked in all casinos operating on Softswiss online casino platform under, for example, the Malta licence. This happens automatically to eliminate the chance of error and helps to quickly limit a particular user’s access to dozens of casinos at once. This is meant to reduce compulsive behaviour.
CasinoBeats: What was the decision process behind introducing these player limits?
When talking about responsible gambling we should always consider two aspects of the phenomenon: the player’s responsibility and the operator’s responsibility. For the player, this means having a clear understanding that playing in a casino is a way to have fun, where a nice addition to gameplay might be winning.
We are well aware of the importance of developing the right attitude towards the game. It is best when treated as entertainment and not as a way to make money. So limits are often completely voluntary and are available to everyone without bias. At the same time, they are an important safeguard against detrimental behaviour.
On the part of the operator, an equally important part of responsible gambling is working with minors. In our case, a lot of resources and time is spent on verifying players and identifying underage players. Teens often perceive casinos as a way to make money, so they are even more susceptible to wanting to play.
Moreover, responsible gambling has long been firmly rooted in local regulation. Casinos are obliged to comply with the laws of the countries in which they operate or are planning to obtain a licence. However, there are advantages in doing so. For example, in Latvia, the regulator gives us access to its self-exclusion database. This way we can block these players from accessing casinos operating on our software platform. This process is automated and the limits come into action quite quickly.
CasinoBeats: Why is it so important that operators are placing responsible gambling at the forefront of their business?
Responsible gambling is first and foremost about mindful interaction between a player and an operator. This is, one might say, the most responsible part of gambling and betting.
Both the operator and the regulators in various countries and jurisdictions are constantly working to improve existing limits and their conditions. As a result, people should enjoy the game, but not lose their savings. Therefore, observing the rules of responsible gambling in the long run only works to the operators’ advantage: they have fewer interactions with regulators, they receive less player complaints, and overall fraudulent activity is reduced.
Practice shows that a player who visits a casino for fun is, in the long run, more valuable and important to the operator than someone who has the goal of earning money or is spending too much time in a casino. After all, a legitimate operator aims to make a long-term investment in the business and player care is an essential part of that.
CasinoBeats: Where will the casino industry be in 10 years – how will player protection differ?
This is a complex question to which there is no clear answer. On the one hand, I am sure that the principles of responsible gambling will only become more relevant. The popularisation of responsible gambling, which smooths out the rough edges between players and operators, determines the development and application of various restrictions for at-risk players.
Limits and regulation are likely to become so flexible and understandable to all that players will have an easier time of managing them on their own and, in the end, playing even more responsibly. Therefore, the interaction between operators and players will undoubtedly evolve. Who will regulate this, and how, is another matter.
Many countries impose strict regulations on the gambling sector, which is reasonable and understandable. However, these are not standardised rules. They differ from country to country, which creates hardships for casino businesses. Therefore, it seems to me, in terms of regulation of responsible gambling we have room to grow.
CasinoBeats: What can we expect from the Softswiss online casino platform in 2022?
This year we have quite ambitious plans, not only in relation to functional improvements to the Softswiss online casino platform, but also regarding the geographical expansion of our operations. We are now working to make the platform more flexible, giving operators more freedom in terms of customisation and allowing them to make adjustments depending on the characteristics and needs of their casino.
We also intend to automate many processes, which will let us concentrate on more important and complex tasks. In this case, I’m talking about player verification and cash outs.
Globally, of course, we expect to enter new markets. We are in the process of obtaining several local licences, which will be a welcome addition to existing ones and will particularly please our clients and partners.
This is one of the main trends of the last few years, so we are working quite hard in this regard. For example, in 2021 Softswiss obtained local licences for Serbia, Greece, and Nigeria. I’m sure 2022 will be just as successful.
Last but not least it is the development of the crypto casino solution. We see a growing interest in this operation format and are confident that crypto casinos are the future. We have a lot of experience in crypto gambling as Softswiss was the first company to develop a bitcoin optimised casino solution.
Right now the Softswiss crypto casino solution offers 3,000+ cryptocurrency optimised games from over 40 game providers and the numbers are constantly increasing.