MGM Resorts, BetMGM, announce collaborations with Kindbridge programs

March 3, 2024 2:29 PM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports
March 3, 2024 2:29 PM

MGM Resorts International and BetMGM Friday announced initiatives in collaboration with Kindbridge Research Institute and Kindbridge Behavioral Health. The initiatives will support problem gambling research and mental health services for veterans, and problem gambling referrals in seven U.S. states and Ontario, Canada.

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MGM Resorts is donating $100,000 to the Kindbridge Research Institute in support of a voluntary medication trial for veterans experiencing gambling addiction in Las Vegas. The treatment aims to reduce gambling urges and symptom severity among veterans with gambling disorders.

“This contribution will help explore and identify innovative treatment for a population our company cares deeply about,” said MGM Resorts Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer Stephen Martino in a statement. “We have a longstanding commitment to supporting military members and their families year-round and are privileged to invest in research that benefits this important community.”

Research will be conducted by Las Vegas Veterans Affairs Residential Recovery and Renewal Center treatment providers in partnership with the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. The study is part of Kindbridge Research Institute’s 50x4vets program, a multi-year research initiative to increase research on gambling disorder in veterans by fifty times in four years.

“This is such a promising intervention,” said Kindbridge Research Institute Executive Director Nathan D. Smith. “We are so grateful for MGM Resorts’ support of this research to improve the lives of veterans and extend the work of the many great scientists, treatment providers, and donors of the 50x4vets program.”

BetMGM also will expand its relationship with Kindbridge Behavioral Health to offer problem gambling referrals in Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ontario Canada. BetMGM is now entering its sixth month in the Kindbridge Colorado Pilot Program.

“We are proud to lead the way in providing individuals with this potentially life-changing support and are pleased with how the program has performed so far,” said BetMGM’s Chief Compliance Officer Rhea Loney. “This expanded investment underscores our dedication to ensuring those who need care can receive it. As access to sports betting and online gaming continues to grow, so should access to problem gambling treatment and care.”

The collaboration between an online operator and a treatment provider offers direct access to comprehensive mental health assessments, treatment, and group support services. One outcome of the collaboration is that a number of Colorado residents opting to be banned from gambling through the state’s self-exclusion program are actively receiving referrals for voluntary treatment from BetMGM.

“We welcome BetMGM’s decision to extend mental health services to players in distress across multiple jurisdictions,” said Kindbridge Behavioral Health CEO Daniel Umfleet. “This initiative is a positive step toward supporting individuals facing challenges with gambling. It underscores the importance of accessible help and the role we all play in fostering safer gaming environments.”

MGM Resorts and BetMGM also are joining National Council on Problem Gambling to recognize March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month. Throughout March, GameSense messaging will be displayed prominently throughout MGM Resorts properties nationwide, as well as in the BetMGM app.

GameSense is the responsible gaming program developed and licensed to MGM Resorts in 2017 by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation. The program focuses on positive, transparent, and proactive interactions with guests and customers about responsible gambling.

MGM Resorts and BetMGM also will continue a partnership with the American Gaming Association’s Have A Game Plan. Bet Responsibly public service campaign to educate new and veteran bettors on responsible, legal sports wagering.