Updated February 26th, 2024 at 12:41 IST

How Real-Money Games Platforms Ensure Ethical Gaming Practices

Know why the implementation of ethical gaming practices is of paramount importance for all leading games platforms.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Poker | Image:Republic
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Real-money games platforms have made online games more accessible to the general public. Card games, such as rummy, poker, etc., are no longer confined to a get-together of friends or a casino hall. People situated in different cities and towns can log on to a gaming platform and play against each other. However, with accessibility also comes misuse. 

Misuse of the real-money games platforms can happen in many ways. Irresponsible gaming behaviour, fair play violations, entry of unwanted players, and cyber threats are some of the various ways in which the real money gaming ecosystem may be misused. This is why the implementation of ethical gaming practices is of paramount importance for all leading games platforms.

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Introducing Ethical Gaming Practices

The need for ethical gaming practices in India is more than it has ever been. The industry is growing at a rapid pace, clocking $3.1 billion in revenue during FY23. It is expected to continue its growth and reach $7.5 billion by FY28. That translates into a large community of real-money gaming enthusiasts. 

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The online games industry has been responsive to this wide reach and has adopted a voluntary “Code of Ethics for Online Gaming Industries” in December 2023. This serves as a Joint Declaration of Intent with a special focus on user protection and the building of a secure, reliable and accountable online games industry. Bodies like the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) and E-Gaming Federation (EGF) were among the signatories to this Code of Ethics.

Four industry bodies have also been signatories to the Voluntary Code of Ethics for Online Gaming Industries, which was curated by the IAMAI. With close to 50 crore players in India, the industry is reinforcing its commitment towards safeguarding its ethical side. 

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Here’s a look at some of the key areas that have drawn the attention of the industry in this regard. Adequate and timely steps taken in these areas will insulate the real-money games industry from unethical practices for years to come.

Responsible Gaming

Real-money games platforms are implementing time and fund-based limitations to foster responsible gaming. The platforms are voluntarily introducing log-out options to remind players of the responsible use of gaming platforms. To ensure this, platforms are using the latest tools that monitor the game time and fund usage metrics on a real-time basis. Advanced tools to identify a player’s risky behaviour patterns are also put into place. Besides, platforms are also educating their patrons about the importance of responsible gaming in the real-money gaming ecosystem.

Prohibiting underage participants

Can anyone with a smartphone open an account in a real-money gaming platform and start playing? Well, not anyone. The strict industry rules say that no one below the age of 18 would be allowed entry in a real-money gaming environment. The platforms ensure this through a thorough KYC process, which validates the age of the account holder. Any account found to be owned by an underage player is immediately blocked.

Fair Play Practices

Just because it is played on an online platform doesn’t mean that a fraudster can alter the poker hand ranking in a game. Real-money poker gaming platforms, like Pocket52, have strict fair play rules in place, the violation of which can lead to the blocking of accounts and forfeiture of available funds. Platforms like these define the dos and don’ts of the game and protect players through strict regulations. 

Ethical Marketing

While playing is limited to adults only, real-money gaming advertisements and promotional campaigns are visible to all. Platforms should not target minors or portray unverifiable facts in the media. Leading platforms tend to stay away from distortion of winning odds and win claims. Games like fantasy sports and playing cards are a source of entertainment. Real-money games platforms are advertised as such in the media.

Platform Security

Platforms are also increasingly unanimous on the need for cybersecurity in the gaming ecosystem. Updated encryptions and adherence to data protection and storage laws are recognised as important guidelines towards ensuring a safe and secure playing environment for the participants. 

Financial Accountability

All leading platforms allow linking player accounts with recognised bank accounts only. They use encrypted channels for fund deposits and withdrawals. They also maintain complete transparency on the costs involved. These aspects must be a basic minimum to keep the financial side of the industry ethical, safe and transparent. 

Closing Call

Adherence to ethical gaming practices will raise the public profile of the gaming platforms and foster customer loyalty.

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Published February 26th, 2024 at 08:40 IST