Gambling Addiction – How it is Handled in Europe vs the United States

Responsible Gambling has become an international priority, with several countries adopting the gaming restrictions of their more proactive counterparts. The increased attention to gambling control is a direct result of the rising problem gambling challenge in several countries, and America has joined this list of countries needing gambling prohibitions.

Until 2018, America had Federal restrictions on certain gambling activities, and while this affected the gaming revenue, it was instrumental in managing gambling addiction. We will not pretend that strict gambling restrictions are always effective against gambling addiction, but we have seen some European countries take action to ensure responsible gaming.

Here is an overview of popular gaming restrictions the US can adopt to manage gambling addiction.

The UKGC and GameStop

The UK remains the prime example for managing gambling addictions. Launching the UK Gambling Commission ahead of the online gambling boom may have been the most proactive action in gambling history. The UK has had some effective gambling control agencies like the Gaming Board and the privately owned GamCare, but none displayed as much oversight as the UKGC.

The UKGC has risen to become one of the most acclaimed gambling restriction institutions, granting gaming licenses and overseeing the activities of casino operators to ensure compliance with its regulations. However, their cooperation with GameStop is possibly the most effective attempt at curbing problem gambling in the UK.

GameStop is a self-exclusion service that helps gamblers manage their access to gambling services and casino-related information. It employs strict restrictions to manage the time and money UK citizens spend gambling. However, several gamblers have described GameStop as being too stringent and rigid with its restrictions. GameStop may not be infallible, but it has displayed better game control than any other responsible gambling service.

While registering with GameStop is largely voluntary for gamblers, the UKGC regulations compel all registered gambling operators to register with GameStop. This registration implies that GameStop can prevent subscribers from accessing any licensed casino or gambling outfit in the UK.

How the SGA and GlüStV Work to curb Gambling Problem

The Swedish Gaming Authority (Spelinspektionen) has regulated online gambling in Sweden since 2019. The SGA began operations by reducing black market gambling with unlicensed casinos. This restriction involved network restrictions on all unregulated casinos while permitting more supervised gambling. Like the UKGC, the SGA maintains an oversight position and runs its self-exclusion program known as Spelpaus.

Spelpaus is a voluntary gaming restriction structure that manages citizens’ access to gambling activities by regulating how much time and money they spend at casinos. The Spelpaus regulates necessary gambling steps like registration and financial transactions with online casinos. Their major regulatory mechanism is the government-issued ID. Only players within the approved age range who meet other gambling prescriptions can legally place bets in registered casinos.

The GlüStV is Germany’s response to gambling addiction, and it may be more restrictive than UKGC and the SGA. While the Joint Gaming Authority regulates all gaming activities in Germany, the Interstate Treaty on Gambling (ISTG) or GlüStV is the agreement among all 16 German states on regulating all gambling activities in the regions. The GlüStV empowered the Joint Gaming Authority to regulate the licensing and self-exclusion services in Germany.

The JGA has some strictest licensing regulations, including limitations and extreme accountability processes. All licensed casinos in Germany have to comply with some strict KYC requirements as listed in the GlüStV, helping the JGA manage who has access to gambling activities and on whom they should recommend self-exclusion.

The self-exclusion service in Germany is called the Oasis, an interesting name considering that it is similar to GamStop and Spelpaus but employs more restrictive measures. Where GamStop and Spelpaus maintain their gaming restrictions for the agreed period, Oasis allows the gambler to submit cancellation requests and frequently grants them. However, this restrictive structure is also the most voluntary self-exclusion in Europe.

How MGA Casinos Work

Malta has always been a haven for relaxing activities, and its gambling restrictions reflect a more laid-back perspective on handling gambling addictions. Malta runs one of the most popular gambling licensing institutions. The Malta Gaming Authority rivals the UKGC in granting gaming licenses. Most crypto casinos and other operators that require limited oversight seem to flock to the MGA for licenses compared to other licensing authorities.

Despite their lax gaming regulations, the MGA maintains a basic grip on gambling activities. The MGA requires adequate security measures from the casino operators and offers problem gambling aids to the gamblers. Like most gambling regulators, the MGA operates voluntary gaming restrictions, letting the punter decide how they want to manage their gambling addiction. However, the MGA is one of the few bodies that proactively seeks problem gamblers and offers them these gaming restrictions.

The MGA does not impose gambling restrictions but requires all MGA-licensed casinos to provide responsible gaming services that the players can voluntarily register with to manage their problem gambling. The casinos often include a Responsible Gambling section in their help section where their customers can sign up for responsible gambling assistance like deposit limits and cool-down period. These services give the players more control over their responsible gaming process, and they can opt-out anytime.

How Can Countries Regulate Crypto Casinos?

The growing responsible gaming campaign seems to fizzle at the face of crypto casinos found on sites like as the decentralized gambling setting succumbs to lesser oversight than traditional casinos. Even the best crypto casinos only apply minimal KYC policies making it hard for regulatory bodies to track and manage compulsive gambling.

However, licensing agencies can manage excessive gaming at these BTC casinos by adopting the MGA unrestricted access to responsible gaming assistance. Let the casinos include contact options for problem gambling services and leave the choice to the gambler. It gives limited control over gambling activities but ensures players know they can reach out for help when necessary.

What Method of Regulation is Right for the United States?

Since the United States has just begun enforcing responsible gaming, they can adopt any of the popular regulations. The GamStop and UKGC method has some merits in America’s free society as it gives respective states adequate oversight but encourages residents to choose their gaming restrictions. The SGA’s Spelpaus would also help in some areas, given how it uses the state-issued ID to regulate how the payer signs up and interact with online gambling. However, we can’t help wondering if GlüStV ‘s stricter KYC and gaming restrictions would better regulate bitcoin casinos and other unregistered outfits.

Our Verdict

Gamblers in the US now have access to better gambling services, including a growing range of crypto casinos and sportsbooks. While these growing options may affect the problem gambling populations, they also encourage safer gambling, shifting the population towards regulated gambling than the popular unlicensed casinos.


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