Are Social Casinos Heading Toward Regulation?
Social online casinos are a fun and often free way to play online casino games. Sign up with Facebook, Google, or through your email and you can play free money pokies, blackjack, and other forms of casino games.
However, now there are those that would have social casino games regulated over concerns over the “pay to play” options offered at these casinos. Social casinos are a growing industry and some feel that they should be regulated like online gambling.
What’s the Problem With Social Casinos?
There are a growing number of social casinos popping up online. Social casinos are online casinos where you can play various online casino games for free. The focus of many of these casinos is online pokies, as they are the most exciting form of online gambling in the world.
Players can sign up through Facebook, Google, or via their email address for an account. No deposit is required and you are given a set number of chips to play with each day. Generally, these chips are replenished or you are given additional free chips each day. Social casino games do not award real money prizes, and often don’t reward anything of real value.
The problems with these casinos as some see it are the options to purchase additional chips. If you run out of chips or want to play for higher stakes, you can make a purchase of additional chips. The price for these chips ranges from as little as .99 all the way to $100 on average.
This is similar to mobile online games that allow you to purchase additional lives, energy, weapons, and other upgrades. However, similar to other mobile games, there are some that go overboard with their spending
Some players are spending hundreds and even thousands at a time with no chance to get anything in return. This is leading to some to call for social casino regulation.
Regulation Will Equal Complete Ban
It’s no secret that Aussies love to gamble. Punters spent over $25 billion between 2017 to 2018 on online gambling. However, with online gambling options only available offshore, some companies are now offering social casinos as an alternative.
Social casinos are not regulated and some feel that this should change. Independent Federal MP Andrew Wilkie is among those calling for the Federal Government to take a stance on social casinos. He thinks that social casinos are “gambling and anyone who tries to tell you it’s not is wrong.” He continued, stating, “In my opinion, these should be regulated in Australia in exactly the same way as mainstream online casino games and that is to ban them.”
Some logical thinkers would argue that if social casinos are a regulation target, then all games that offer “pay to play” options should be as well. As ISGA Chief Executive Luc Delaney points out, social online casinos are “purely for entertainment” and lawmakers continue to let them operate in peace.
Why is that? Because the “casino-themed social games offer no opportunity to win money, or anything of value.” He continued, “Video games, including social games, fall under a range of consumer protection regulations as do all forms of digital entertainment, which we believe is appropriate.”
Pay to Play OK But Do So Responsibly
If you play online mobile games or any form of a modern-day PC game, you’re familiar with the concept of “pay to play.” There are many people around the world that pay real money to play these games. Pay to play game offer nothing in return but entertainment.
However, the key is to do so responsibly. Budget for your gaming the same as you would for a night out at the movies, a date night, or other forms of entertainment. Don’t spend your rent money or other bill money to play social casino games.
If you’re finding yourself unable to control your spending, then you may have some form of gambling or gaming addiction. In that case, there are resources available to combat gaming addiction.
Regulation of social casino games would unnecessarily punish the majority of responsible players and is not a viable option. Instead, look for ways to educate the public about playing these games responsibly.
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