The mobile gambling market has exploded in the past decade, with the convenience of being able to place wagers on sports or traditional casino games using your phone drawing in millions of customers each year… along with the rampant advertisements for various betting platforms, which seem almost impossible to miss.
Whether rightfully or unfairly, gambling has long possessed an unsavory reputation in society, so it goes without saying that the industry’s growth hasn’t received universal approval. Here’s a look at what gambling platforms and community members alike are doing to change that reputation, to mitigate the negative impacts that betting can have.
Corporate Social Responsibility
This is a topic that one could write an essay on, especially in the heated social and political climate of the United States today… so I’ll try to keep it brief. Given the amount of money they bring in, people and corporations worth billions of dollars are taxed at a rate far below what one might expect for their fair share in society.
Business affairs are reminiscent of those of the 1880s, when the captains of industry like Andrew Carnegie saw their revenue outpace that of their workers by dramatic amounts, which helped them amass their riches. Carnegie ended up becoming a philanthropist later in his career, setting the standard that those with more money than they knew what to do with should help prop others up, especially if they profited off of exploited labor.
Many gambling platforms are doing much the same thing these days, offering resources like gambling help hotlines during their commercials or on their apps for those who struggle with gambling addiction.
Furthermore, while the betting platforms themselves do so indirectly, many state legislatures set aside the revenue brought in from gaming taxes in order to help those with gambling addictions or communities at risk. By earmarking the massive amounts of money they earn for communities and populations in need, state governments do what they can to put people before profits when voting to legalize mobile wagering.
What is the Government Doing?
Next we’ll take a look at the role that various levels of the government—federal, state and local—have in regulating the gaming industry. One of the current battlefronts legislators are opening up pertains to the sign-up bonuses that betting platforms offer. With excellent promotions like second chance bets, BetMGM Bonus Codes and deposit matches, casinos and sportsbooks sweeten the deal for new customers by offering up to double the money they bet in promotional rewards.
It’s a great deal for prospective bettors, but it’s an even better deal for the books themselves. That’s because they can write off the money they forfeit through these promotions when it becomes time to pay taxes, bringing in hordes of new customers at a relatively cheap price… a practice that the New York state government, for one, has called out as ‘predatory’ to consumers.
As various state officials look to limit the sway the gambling industry holds, they’re starting to workshop legislation that would make it impossible to write off promotional deals as business losses, making it harder for bookies to bring in new customers with cheap deals.
Curtailing the amount of advertisements is another thing we could see happen soon: gambling ads are hard to get away from these days, and other countries like the United Kingdom and Australia have taken steps to limit the number of ads run.
It’ll be interesting to see how the situation progresses because each state operates differently. Just as we’ve seen mobile gambling legalization pass at different times and with different stipulations from state to state, so too could we see different approaches to gaming tax reform.
Responsible Gambling Initiatives
Last but not least, we’ll dig deeper into how betting operators work to run their businesses in an ethical way through responsible gambling initiatives. One example of this is mandatory cooldown periods. Betting platforms offer users the opportunity to opt into these periods, wherein a customer can’t deposit funds to their account or place any bets for a set amount of time, often up to 90 days.
Users can activate these cooldowns at any time themselves, or have them triggered once they’ve deposited a certain amount of money over a short timeframe. In doing so, they allow customers to disengage from the world of online gaming in the hopes of reducing the risk and impact of gambling addiction, and users are required to wait until the cooldown period runs its course before they can bet again.
It’s far from a perfect solution, as it relies on self-reporting in order to work, but it’s a step in the right direction. As with the potential for changing tax laws, the field of mobile gambling is relatively new, and it can take years to figure out how to govern a business best.