Player protection, the final frontier

    • rootsanarchy
      Dabei seit: 10.01.2008 Beiträge: 6.843
      (New blog from Isle of Man head of egaming development Garth Kimber)

      Garth Kimber, head of e-gaming development, Department of Economic Development, Isle of Man Government

      American professional poker player Phil Ivey was recently quoted as being “Deeply disappointed and embarrassed” at players not being refunded their money by Full Tilt following the events of Black Friday.

      The EU Commission has calculated that there are more than 12,500 sites in Europe alone operating without a licence of any sort. This means not only that the game has not been checked for fairness, but also that there is nothing to prevent player funds from being intermingled with operational funds, invested or worse.

      The gaming sector has grown quickly since the first site went live in 1995. And, as with all new industries that experience this rapid rise, there can be a lag in time before consumer protection and regulation fully catch-up with one another, however it’s still surprising to see how long it’s taken for players to realise how licensing and regulation affects them personally.

      Without schadenfreude towards Full Tilt’s customers, the issue of protection of players’ funds has been treated with the same apathy as say, pensions; even by the pros, as Ivey’s statement clearly demonstrates. This is not the first or last time that an operator has failed to refund its players’ money.

      As European countries start to open up their own regulatory regimes it will be interesting to see how the fine print or their regulation actually protects player funds in practice, particularly when ‘protection of players’ has been the weapon of choice in arguing the case for active regulation in the first place.

      Ultimately players’ choice is everything and, if reported player stats since the US indictments are true, numbers have virtually returned to pre-Black Friday levels at Pokerstars due to its ability to refund its players. The Isle of Man’s strong consumer protection may also have played a part in this return to confidence – all player funds (and winnings) are held on the island in a separate and segregated account clearly designated as player funds and protected under Manx law.

      As the industry matures, and competition remains high, customers will continue to recognise that when choosing where to chance their money, it’s not all about bonuses and fun marketing gimmicks and that some ‘chances’ are bigger than others.

      If this issue matters to players, it should matter to operators.

      - allein in europa mehr als 12.500 gaming-seiten ohne lizenz
      - das bedeutet nicht nur, dass die games nicht auf fairness geprüft sind, sondern auch fehlenden schutz der spielereinlagen
      - spielerschutz (auch bei lizesierten seiten) oftmals zu wenig beachtet (von anbietern und spielern gleichermaßen)
      - spieler realisieren nur langsam wie lizensierung und regulierung sie betrifft
      - spieler werden nach und nach realisieren, dass es bei der wahl der gaming-seite nicht nur auf boni und marketing gimmicks ankommt, sondern auch auf den schutz ihrer einlagen

      geht halt um die entwicklung der gaming industrie und dass die ereignisse um full tilt gezeigt haben, dass sich in sachen spielerschutz noch einiges tun muss. als vertreter der isle of man schreibt er das wohl nicht ganz ohne eigenwerbung, weil das dort halt sehr gut geregelt is.
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