The Interactive Gaming CouncilBy: Rick Balding, Friday January 16th 2009
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The Interactive Gaming Council (IGC) was founded in 1996. In 2000 it shifted from the United States to Vancouver in Canada. The IGC is a not-for-profit trade association, the objective of which is to represent the interactive gaming industry. The online casino industry is a significant sector of the interactive gaming industry. A large number of online casino operators are members of the IGC and exhibit the IGC logo on their web site. The IGC mission statement reads, The IGC champions initiatives that address the multi-various challenges and opportunities facing the Internet gambling industry, in order to ensure an environment of fair and responsible gambling.
The IGC believes that the practice of fair and responsible by the online gambling industry is in its own self interest. Therefore one of its functions is to establish fair and responsible guidelines and practices with the aim of enhancing consumer confidence in online gaming products and services. The online players will benefit if the industry follows these guidelines and this in turn will fuel the growth of the industry. The IGC has taken several important steps in this direction. It has set up a Code of Conduct for all IGC members to follow. The important issues in this code relate to integrity of the operator, security and data protection, dispute resolution and compliance with the Code of Conduct. Through a separate Advertising Code of Practice the IGC outlines the information that members should and should not exhibit on their web sites. The guidelines emphasize honesty, decency and responsibility. The IGC has separate Responsible Gambling Guidelines that include training of the members' staff to deal with the issue and also how members can provide information and assistance to players.
The IGC also reaches out to players directly through information on its web site. Its Beginner's Guide is one of the most comprehensive documents of this kind and is a must read for all new players. Unfortunately new players would not be aware of the existence of this document and it needs wider publicity. It lists the information that players should look for before signing up with an online casino and also exposes some of the potential hidden pitfalls and costs. Another document on the IGC web site that is a must read for all players is the Helping Hand Program. It focuses on recognizing and preventing problem gambling.
One of the important functions of the IGC from the online casino operator's point of view is to serve as the industry's public policy advocate. The IGC has been vocal and has used its clout and resources against unfair legislation both in the United States and in Europe. The most recent instance of this was in the Kentucky domain name seizure case. IGC provided the best of defense for its members that were involved in that case and is hopeful of getting a favorable decision in the Appeals Court.
Learn more about the Interactive Gaming Council by visiting their website here: http://www.igcouncil.org/
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