The online poker industry is evolving rapidly. The emerging ecosystem that rewards both companies and its gamers is the cause behind the speed and sophistication of this evolution. Considering the constant tug-of-war with the legal system, it is important for skill-gaming operators to maintain a high standard of governance and self-regulation.
Here’s a look at the industry and key player initiatives undertaken to ensure a safe and secure environment to play poker online.
The online poker industry has given rise to a non-profit association/federation to help set guidelines and promote self-regulation. The association will focus on policy advocacy, research and be a unified voice and forum to discuss and address concerns amongst various stakeholders associated with the online gaming industry.
Defining a charter/framework which every member of the association will have to abide by to be sealed as an Approved Operator. The charter lays down the standards that an operator has to follow to ensure user reliance and confidence in online poker games.
It will lay down guidelines on fair play violation policies, responsible gaming standards in online poker, software integrity and other related internal control standards.
Considering the regulatory nature of the online poker industry, partnering with legal advisors to seek their opinion and stay in up to date with the changes is of utmost importance including:
- Making industry representations at the right forum.
- Empanelment of service providers only after adequate due diligence is undertaken by the federation members.
- Use of the empaneled service providers by the operators to increase credibility of the product/service and increase customer confidence.
Organizing events, conferences and newsletters to create awareness of the current industry scenario, key areas of significance, latest developments and initiatives taken to address stakeholder concerns.
An Expert Committee has been formed with the help of highly experienced and qualified professionals from various fields such as the judiciary, data analytics, academics, psychology, and economics. The committee shall give its unbiased and independent opinion on possible challenges and on evaluating certain poker strategies when the online poker industry is poised for exponential growth.
Following are the leading practices operators of the online poker industry have undertaken to ensure adherence to high benchmarks of the industry, growing market demands and the changing regulations:
Becoming a member of a skill card gaming association, participating and adopting their standards for self-regulation and responsible gaming to play poker online.
Ensuring the online poker platform, product and payment gateways are adequately and periodically verified and certified by external recognized agencies carrying the necessary certification or seal.
Fair Play & Responsible Gaming
Online games like poker must be protected by fair play. Hence, it requires the platform to design a fair-play violation policy and ensure strict adherence to the guidelines laid down in the policy.
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Adopting effective dispute resolution mechanisms for player disputes and a speedy turnaround time for resolving complaints from players.
Ensuring data privacy by defining policies and procedures to secure proprietary, sensitive or confidential user information.
Holding Funds in Fiduciary Capacity
Formulating stringent guidelines and policies to ensure management of user funds in online poker games. User fund management includes measures like separate bank accounts for incoming customers’ funds and funds from user accounts must not be used for operational expenses etc.
Establishing adequate Know Your Customer/Client (KYC) norms to ensure more transparency and accountability from the player’s end as well as assist in better compliance by operators. Does your online poker platform or poker site adhere to all the above? Well, they have your interest in mind and have got you covered!