New Services for Online GamingBy: Fabian Rictor, Tuesday April 27th 2010
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In this last week two new services have been announced for the online gaming industry and both are different from the fare already on offer.
Safe Gaming System (SGS) is a new responsible gaming service. It describes itself as a "safety net" to protect gamblers from engaging in excessive gambling. SGS offers a twin pronged approach. It assists the players registered with it in setting affordable gambling limits based on incomes and expenses. SGS insists that players set both money and time limits in advance and "away from the atmosphere of a gambling venue". This enables players to think rationally and set limits that are reasonable.
In the second step SGS provides a mechanism for funding online casino accounts. First players have to open an account with SGS. They fund this account for "budget periods" by pre-purchasing only their "affordable limit" for gambling. The players will then be issued an SGS debit card, which can be used to fund their accounts at online casinos that accept the SGS card. SGS clarified that the players have to agree that they will use only the funds in their SGS account to gamble online and will not fund any online casino account using any other payment option. Once players exhaust their affordable limit for gambling for a given period SGS will not accept any further funds from them during the current "budget period" and players will have to wait till the next "budget period" before they wager again.
The second service comes from ImpulsePay and is an age verification service. The online casino has to insert an ImpulsePay ‘Buy Now’ button at their web site. The player has to click on this button and enter their mobile phone number. The player is then sent a secure PIN by SMS to his mobile number. The player then enters the PIN at the online casino web site. The online casino is informed whether the mobile phone is registered to an 18+ user. If the applicant player is not registered as over eighteen then he will be directed to a help page. However, if the applicant player is registered as over eighteen then the transaction is completed and the online casino allows the player to register.
Both of these services have just been announced and it will be quite some time before they are integrated within the online casino industry. There can be questions asked in both cases. The SGS service ultimately depends on the will power of the player because despite his agreement with SGS there is nothing to prevent him from registering with a new online casino and fund his account there with a different payment option. It is not clear from the ImpulsePay press release how it would handle the issue of minors using mobile phones registered in the name of their parents.
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