DraftKings Slams Lack of Social Gaming Regulations

Harry Coulter | 25 Jul 2018

DraftKings Slams Lack of Social Gaming RegulationsJeffery Haas, Chief International Officer of DraftKings, made a bold statement about the current level of regulations in social gaming. He went on record to say that he saw the comparably low level of control in the sector as preposterous, and called for steps to be taken immediately.

Haas gave the statement at the recent iGB Live! show, and his words seemed to strike a chord with many of those in attendance. More specifically, Haas pointed out that there was serious potential for consumers to come to harm, specifically mentioning that there is no way to set deposit, loss, or play limits in this type of entertainment.

He went on by drawing attention to the fact that social games pull in hundreds of millions annually, and that virtually no regulations are in place to ensure that this revenue is earned fairly, and that no harm is done to consumers in the process.

He concluded by saying that regulations would be introduced at some point, but that it was important for the industry to act proactively, and not reactively, to ensure that revenue streams remained strong, and that the dignity of consumers is protected.

An On Going Debate

It is not the first time debate has been heard about social gaming. Similar words were heard when Haas’ own company, DraftKings, operated in daily fantasy sports in the United States, which itself is entirely unregulated. As always, the debate centres on a key aspect; should social gaming even be considered gambling?

In the United Kingdom controversy rages on around the topic, with the Gambling Commission so far shunning official regulation. The Gambling Commission has put forward its opinion that it has yet to be given solid evidence that this type of entertainment poses any threat to consumers at all. This position has been called into questions many times, and resulted in a number of heated exchanges.

Loot Boxes and Other Issues Examined

Likewise, loot boxes in video games have come under similar scrutiny in recent months, and have also come under investigation. The similarities between loot boxes and social gaming are obvious, with both systems still remaining relatively ungoverned.

An associate at law firm Brandl & Talos, Nicholas Aquilina, took the stage with Haas, adding his own thoughts on the issue. According to him, the problem could not be solved by regulation that he referred to as ‘one size fits all.’ He pointed out that loot boxes should be given their own specific rules, and that different social gaming should also be subject to it’s own tailor made guidelines of control.

A Deputy general at the MGA, Carl Brincat, backed up this sentiment. Brincat stated that in Malta gambling and skill gaming had separate rules in place, and that any new type of game may well make existing frameworks inapplicable.

Food for thought where regulations are concerned, and perhaps the precursor for new controls soon to be introduced in the new future.