The protection of children and vulnerable player groups must currently be the responsibility of the companies, according to the official in a statement to the industry:
“Protecting children and those who are prone to the harm of gambling has always been an important priority and we are (…) very aware that the risk of damage from online gambling has increased as a result of recent events. As you know, the social distancing measures imposed this week mean that everyone except the key workers are at home for most of the day. We are already seeing reports of increased activity in online slots, poker, casino games and virtual sports. ”
The UKGC (link in English) also demand that the industry proactively prevent vulnerable customers from harming themselves. The gaming companies are expected to know their customers.
Maltese authorities urge caution
The Maltese gaming regulator, the Malta Gaming Authority, has also urged its licensees to take special precautions regarding customer communications. Companies should not take measures that:
- Promote anti-social behavior.
- Suggest that gambling is a way to solve social and professional problems.
- Gambling as an alternative to normal employment.
- Gambling portrayed as a form of financial investment.
- Home gambling described as an alternative to social games.
The Malta Gaming Authority urges its licensees to adhere to these guidelines and to act “ethically and socially responsible”.
This also includes doing without advertising references to COVID-19. Any violation of the guidelines would be punished by the authority as a breach of the license rules.