Effect on mental health of players, need for regulatory legislation and more

Senior Vice-President of Mobile Premier League (MPL) Dibyojyoti Mainak spoke on the operative side of online gaming software to iron out the creases on the aspect of algorithms. He said,

“All software and gaming systems have to go through technical certifications. So there are randomized tests conducted during the audit before the certifications are granted which ensure that fair play systems are in place.”

Speaking about the preventive measures taken by the company to ensure no user faces adverse consequences of playing the game, Mainak explained,

“There are 3 stages at which we regulate players. First is the awareness stage – which is you lay down precautions in the terms and conditions and pop ups are enabled for players to verify that they will have to self-certify that they have read and understood that they should not play beyond a certain period of time, if they start feeling a sense of discomfort, etc. At layer 2, we set mandatory and automated limits on the amount a player deposits, spends and the amount of time a player spends on the game. Most companies have a warning system to warn players if they have exceeded the time, but at MPL, we have enabled a mandatory and automated lock-out – which means after 3 hours, a player is forcefully removed from the app and the app will not open for the next 15 minutes.”

Mainak added,

“At level 3, assuming there is someone who still falls through the cracks, if we see any kind of risky behaviour, we surface a questionnaire prepared by mental health experts as a self-certification step. The player has to answer questions like how long they have been playing, if they have lost more money than they expected, etc. This is a subjective layer and there is a possibility some players may not fill it in truthfully. So we also have an automated layer, which is where the algorithm helps a lot. If a player is losing a lot of money in a short time or has been hitting their spending limit consecutively, they get flagged by the system. Or if the player themselves approaches us via customer care or is chatting with another player, the algorithm detects the trigger points. At MPL, we are working with Kaha Mind, a mental health organization focused on internet-related issues. We provide free counselling services after first blocking the player from using the app. Only after the counsellor certifies that the player is fit to play again, do we allow them entry.”


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