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How to be a responsible gambler (with a nod to Squid Game)

| By Marese O'Hagan
Uplatform releases responsible gambling message inspired by Netflix series Squid Game.

Gambling is interactive, fun, and entertaining; when conducted responsibly. But what if irresponsible behaviour leads you to put your own life on the line for the chance to win money? Squid Game depicts the problem of irresponsible gambling at its most extreme and dystopian.

You’ve undoubtedly already seen it on Netflix — or at the very least been told you should by one of the millions of others who have watched the South Korean survival thriller. If not, sorry, there might be a few spoilers in this article.

Gambling with the intent of entertainment and light-hearted fun is what responsible gambling is all about. When people utilise gambling as a source of the main income or gamble with more money than they can afford to lose, it can become problematic. Netflix’s Squid Game brilliantly characterises the effects of excessive and extreme gambling and is one of the underlying themes emphasised in this survival drama.

Willing to risk

Humans have a natural desire to take risks. We engage in risky activities on a regular basis, whether it’s dodging in and out of traffic, spinning the wheels on a slot machine, or riding hyperfast sports motorcycles. When risk-taking leads to entrepreneurship, innovation and increased creativity, it can help the human race evolve. However, issues might develop when a greater drive to take risks leads to harm.

People with gambling addictions are willing to risk practically anything in the hopes of a larger payout, and the same can be said for each of the Squid Game participants.

Half of the participants elected to stay for a chance to win 45.6bn South Korean won (about £28m), after the terrifying game of Red Light, Green Light. And almost all of them promptly returned and volunteered to place their lives at stake, highlighting that extreme risk-taking can come down to a matter of life or death. 

Characterisation of gambling addiction

Buried in huge debts, participants are presented with a mysterious offer to play a game and win a massive amount of money. It is a common occurrence that can happen to anyone. Is financial hardship, however, the primary motivator for gambling addiction?

Gambling addiction affects more than just the Squid Game participants. Certain factors may put people in danger even if they do not have financial difficulties. In the show, the Front Man and the wealthy VIPs have gambling addictions too; no sporting event or casino could satisfy their gambling appetites anymore.

A gambling addiction is frequently linked to neurological, biological, psychological, genetic and other behavioural disorders. Substance abuse, untreated ADHD, stress, depression, anxiety, or bipolar illness are all common problems among addicted gamblers. These types of issues need to be addressed and any other underlying factors to overcome problem gambling issues.

Problem gambling is a serious issue

Before the main Squid Game character ended up on an island playing deadly games, his financial and family life was in ruins because of his gambling addiction. That is a very real issue – one that legal gambling operators and regulators have taken very seriously.

Gambling operators need to be aware that customers who return to casinos may have endured more significant anxiety, loss of income, loss of a loved one, depression and unemployment as a result of Covid-19. All of these factors can contribute to problem gambling, with a majority of people being impacted by these experiences at some point in their lives.

Awareness is still the most important factor and the first step toward gambling responsibly.

The industry is promoting and supporting responsible gaming

Reputable gambling companies understand that all parties in the industry, from platform providers to online operators and regulators, are accountable for their actions and activities.  

As a dedicated gaming industry company, Uplatform encourages responsible gambling and has built ethical standards into our platform to guarantee that our partners and their players are well-informed and prepared to cope with gambling threats and problems – in compliance with the industry’s best practices to avoid any harm.

Our underlying principles of responsible gambling are integrated into our sportsbook and online casino software products, and we make every effort to ensure that our clients maintain ethical and liable promotional and marketing, prevent underage betting, avoid privacy breaches and online threats, secure and safeguard data and online payments. As well as ensuring their players gamble responsibly.

Responsible gambling is a broad term aimed at ensuring that gambling is done in a way that minimises the risk of harm associated with gambling. It recognises that individuals are responsible for their own actions, but also that providers have a duty, which is why the Uplatform team shows our proactive commitment by providing our partners with all the resources and information they need to protect themselves and their customers.