DraftKings CIO Pushes for Social Gaming Regulation
Posted on by Sean Williamson
The Chief International Officer, or CIO, for DraftKings, Jeffrey Haas, is calling for added regulation for the social gaming world. His reasoning is that even those who only enjoy this entertainment simply for fun deserve the same kind of protection that consumers of regulated online gambling enjoy.
Speaking at the iGB Live! Conference which took place in Amsterdam recently, Haas called the lack of regulatory guidance for operators offering social gaming preposterous, and stated that this would do the industry harm along the way. These operators are not bound to put deposit limits into place, nor are they required to set limits on play, loss, or even make the odds of winning a matter of public record. But politicians the world over are denouncing the casino-like aspects of some of this kind of entertainment, querying whether these games are addictive, and even pondering reclassifying them as gambling.
Haas pointed out that companies providing social gaming are generating massive profits every year, but there is nothing in place to ensure their games were fair, and consumers are simply not offered any type of protection currently.
Is it Gambling Though?
Daily Fantasy Sports, Haas’ industry, has the gambling question hinging on if these contests require skill or chance to win. With social gaming, especially regarding titles based on casino classics, the question becomes whether the virtual currencies provided within the title can be defined as constituting something of value. Why? The nigh universal definition of gambling is explained as risking something valuable to win something valuable.
If we ask the UK Gambling Commission, for example, it’s impossible. Because if the prize consists of something other than money, or something not worth any actual money, then it’s not gambling. There have been statements to the effect that the lines are becoming more blurred, however.
It must also be noted that most of the players who enjoy this type of entertainment do so for small amounts of money, and the number that risk bigger sums are of such a minority that it doesn't warrant any regulatory intervention.
Whose Job Would it Be?
The problem is that, in order for regulations to be put into place, this kind of activity needs first to be classified as gambling, and it’s not, in most cases. But Haas feels that there are other authorities that could be called upon.
He stated that regulators stepping in at some point is an inevitability, whether these be for gaming, consumer affairs, or banking, and staying ahead of this curve would be ideal. It would also ensure that those providing these kinds of diversions are doing so with integrity, and protecting players, making sure that they are not losing money they can’t afford to. He said that this last is bad news for any of the operators currently working within the gaming industry, on whatever level.