Promoting responsible, safe gambling is a necessary part of being an iGaming professional – and bingo is no exception. While by definition independent of the bingo sites they promote, bingo affiliates have a responsibility of their own to uphold the values of responsible gambling, to protect from the harms that can come to vulnerable players and to encourage a safer environment for all players to enjoy.
While bingo is generally seen as a fun and entertaining way to spend time online, it is not without its own risks and dangers – it’s still gambling, and players can still fall into the same traps that can and do cause real problems for some people. It’s up to bingo affiliates to play their part, and there are a number of practical steps they can take to ensure they are putting a responsible foot forward.
Responsible Gambling Resources
The first thing to note as a bingo affiliate is that you should be adhering to the industry requirements for responsible gambling. These include using 18+ logos and adding begambleaware.org to any promotions or ads, including websites and apps. Affiliates should also be including the words ‘Please Gamble Responsibly’, and ensuring that all of the deposit and wagering requirements for bonuses and promotions are clearly stipulated in their text.
Beyond the basics, affiliates should look to include comprehensive materials on safer gambling, including links to organisations, charities and other sites with information and tools for responsible gambling. Organisations such as GamCare have resources on hand that can be useful for players who may be at risk of developing gambling problems, as well as sites like www.bestbingowebsites.co.uk, which contains an extensive list of responsible gambling resources and links.
Responsible gambling should be a primary concern for bingo affiliates, as with bingo sites themselves – everyone has a part to play in ensuring bingo remains as safe an environment as possible for players.
On a practical level, the accuracy of bingo site reviews and all content published by affiliates should be seen as an important part of encouraging responsible behaviour. Out of date content or reviews that are simply inaccurate can cause players problems later down the line, and in rare cases even compound the misery of gambling harms.
Material covering promotions and bonus offers should always be kept up to date, and there should be comprehensive information about the different types of bingo, chat rooms and other resources to help players understand how online bingo works.
All reviews should be honest, and should genuinely aim to help players. It is unethical for bingo affiliates to review sites they haven’t played at themselves – a focus on providing useful, informative and accurate content will better serve the needs of players, as well as helping discharge an affiliate’s responsibility to safer gambling.
The more honest and accurate a portrayal of different bingo sites an affiliate can give, and specifically on the dangers of problem gambling, the better the experience will be for players. Ultimately, as an affiliate, it’s your job to introduce players into the world of online bingo, or to recommend new sites, bonuses and promotions – doing so with safer gambling in mind creates a better environment for everyone to operate within.
Keeping on Top of Legislation
Aside from the moral obligations on bingo affiliates to promote safer gambling, there are also legal obligations that arise from regulators in the UK and elsewhere. Affiliates are not immune from the requirements of the Gambling Commission and other bodies, and so it’s essential to keep one eye on the law as it relates to this field.
Following the recent UK government white paper, affiliates can expect some further regulation, which will in turn affect bingo operators, and likely affiliates too. For example, concerns raised about cross-selling in the industry, such as heavily marketing casino products to bingo players. Some suggestions of a new ‘opt-in’ requirement to gambling marketing could come into force, and it’s important legally that affiliates are aware of these changes and responsive to them if and when they do become law.
A reputable bingo affiliate should embrace safer gambling as part of their responsibility to creating a better gambling industry. While there is often the incentive for affiliates to encourage as many people as possible to start playing bingo whatever the consequences, bingo should still be taken seriously as a gambling product, with all of the problems that can sometimes ensue for vulnerable players.
The right approach for affiliates, both morally, legally and ultimately commercially, is to treat responsible gambling as the serious issue it is, and to proceed accordingly in your business. By making this a key part of your content, your marketing and your offer to prospective bingo players, you check all of these boxes, and in the end, provide a more useful service to the bingo community.
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