WRB Reveals Regulations Needed for Social Gaming

by Kyle Miller

World Regulatory Briefing, LondonSocial gaming may not be considered full on gambling but experts believe regulations need to be put in place.

Social gaming is a category of gaming options that refers to online games that provide a social interaction element on top of the actual game. Social games can be found online at a number of sites including Facebook or even online casinos with free play. According to experts, social gaming needs to be regulated as it poses the same risks as actual online gambling.

Social Gaming Formats

Many games have gained in popularity over the years and are considered to be in the social gaming field. The market involves social media elements to connect users to others in friendly competition and can allow for chatting during game play. Such games as Slotomania offer a category of gaming that has a social aspect that leads people to play on a regular basis.

Such gaming has been considered a timewaster and a way to provide entertainment to individuals with minimal. Unlike standard casino gaming there is no risk, but players do have access to in-app purchases. Many social games are free to download as well as play.

World Regulatory Briefing Meeting

Last week, the World Regulatory Briefing took place with the Responsible Gambling Innovation setup where concerns were expressed as to how dangerous social gaming can be to young people. CEO Simo Dragicevic of BetBuddy, stated that young people are the ones who are at the biggest risk as they are not as matured and developed to make smart decision during game play.

Consider this, online gambling sites such as casinos are not offered to minors due to poor decision making. So should the same not be done to social gaming options? Many casino style games are offered in a social setting that have not restrictions on the age groups that are allowed to play. Dragicevic has studied the gaming industry as he has a company based in London that offers leading analysis on gaming. The company has actually created a responsible gaming platform that is a first of its kind to monitor the behaviors of gamers as they take part online.

Responsible Gaming All Around

The conversation of responsible gaming has a goal of developing ways to market the gaming options to audiences that are based on their gaming needs. The recent London panel suggested that the audience of younger gamers will require less enticing to take part and more regulations put in place. The issue of responsible social gaming has been brought to light as more options become available as well as skin trading, betting and eSports options are being utilized.

Just recently, we reported that Caesars interactive Entertainment would be offering social gaming via Playtika and are looking to offer their social gaming options at their many properties. Other gaming companies are likely to follow suit based on how successful Caesars is able to be.

Concerns of Social Gaming

With online casino game play, the concerns are that players will easily be able to lose money while playing blackjack, roulette, craps and more, all the while racking up debt and becoming addicted. That is why there are programs in place for responsible gaming and regulations used to help along the way. The experts believe that such regulations need to be put in place for social gaming as well.

Take an online social casino for example. Plainridge Park Casino which is located in Massachusetts, offers an online casino that provides virtual gaming with no cost, such as video poker and slot games. Players can play the games and earn free credits. However, there is an option to use real money to purchase credits. Online gambling is illegal in the state but this is a way around it and the state can still make money. It is instances like this in which the regulations are considered to be needed as players can be at risk.

It will be interesting to see if the next step in the gaming industry if social gaming will be the next genre to gain regulation requirements.