Online gaming operators collaborate for responsible gaming standards

September 22, 2022 6:12 PM
Updated: September 26, 2022 11:12 AM

Online gaming operators collaborate for responsible gaming standards

Photo: American Gaming Association
  • Rege Behe
September 22, 2022 6:12 PM
Updated: September 26, 2022 11:12 AM
  • United States
  • Igaming
  • Sports Betting

Responsible-gaming programs and initiatives took a step toward standardization on Thursday.

Bally’s Corporation, BetMGM, DraftKings, Entain, FanDuel, and MGM Resorts International announced a collaboration on industry-led responsible gaming standards

The six gambling companies have agreed to a 12-point pledge committing to principles of responsible online gaming. The principles are also recommended as industry benchmarks.

“These principles mark an important milestone in the commitment to responsible gaming in the rapidly growing U.S. markets, as responsibility sits at the heart of our business,” said Entain Senior Vice-president for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling Martin Lycka in a statement. “It’s truly a first for this market and a significant step for addressing problem gaming on a consistent basis.”

The announcement coincides with September’s designation as Responsible Gaming Education Month by the American Gaming Association.

The 12 principles are derived from four core attributes:

  • We participate only in legal markets that provide consumer protections.
  • We strive to instill responsible-gaming culture throughout our respective businesses.
  • All forms of online gaming should be a fun activity and enjoyed as a form of entertainment.
  • While the vast majority of individuals can enjoy online gaming in a responsible way, some individuals need additional tools and support related to their gaming activities.

The 12 principles include a commitment to take active steps to prevent underage and excluded individuals from participating in any form of gaming. Operators also commit to provide customers with informed choices about gaming through easily understood responsible-gaming tools. All participants will conduct ongoing research to track the impact of this collaboration.

“Essential to promoting safer play is a framework for operators to guide them in responsible gaming,” said DraftKings Senior Director of Responsible Gaming Christine Thurmond. “DraftKings is pleased to be a part of this landmark effort that has culminated in the adoption of 12 responsible gaming principles across the participating operators – and that will benefit consumers around the United States.”

The principles include the adoption and promotion of a unified nationwide responsible-gaming toll-free helpline and socially responsible advertising that avoids imagery that might entice minors.

Other provisions include a call for a shared-responsibility approach to addressing problem gaming and a commitment to working with policy makers, academic experts and researchers, problem-gaming treatment organizations, advocacy groups and partners, as well as customers, to promote responsible gaming and address problem gaming.

“Responsible gaming is at the forefront of everything we do at BetMGM,” said Chief Legal Officer Joshua Jessen in a statement. “While we operate in a highly competitive industry, we are proud to stand together with our colleagues to adopt these important principles. Creating a consistent standard of responsible gaming measures across the board greatly strengthens our collective commitment to our customers, employees, and the communities where we operate.”

The collaboration also includes a commitment to employee training and continuous monitoring of the participants’ respective responsible-gaming programs and initiatives to ensure compliance with applicable standards.

“Bally’s is committed to the 12-point pledge and it’s Bally’s and the industry’s responsibility to prevent underage gaming and provide education and safeguards.” said Bally’s Corporation President of Interactive Robeson Reeves.

“FanDuel is committed to collaborating and partnering with every participating operator, and our entire industry, on these 12 principles of responsible online gaming,” said FanDuel Vice President Responsible Gaming Adam Warrington.” Collectively, we have the privilege and opportunity to set the standard for what it means to be a responsible operator by leading from the front and collectively enabling our customers to enjoy our products, responsibly.”

The six companies endorsed the following statement and 12 principles for responsible online gaming under the title “Industry Collaborators’ Statement and 12 Principles for Responsible Online Gaming.”

We, the signatories, pledge to observe the following responsible gaming principles across all our online gaming related activities and to encourage all affiliated third parties, including but not be limited to content providers, social media influencers, social media accounts and brand ambassadors, to also adhere to these principles:

  • We take active steps to prevent underage and excluded individuals from participating in any form of gaming within our products.
  • We help patrons make informed choices about their gaming. We provide easy to read information about how to play, provide responsible gaming tools including information on how to access and use such tools; and provide other related information, including information about a toll-free helpline, as well as resources for those who are seeking support related to their gaming.
  • We support the adoption and effective promotion of a unified nationwide responsible gaming toll-free helpline.
  • We abide by applicable standards of socially responsible advertising, including compliance with all applicable state and federal laws and standards, and we avoid using minors in marketing content. We only use actors and company representatives in advertising and social media relating to gaming who reasonably appear to be above the legal age to gamble.
  • We provide our customers with tools to play responsibly, including but not to limited to self-exclusion tools, financial and other account limits as well as customer betting histories.
  • We abide by all self-exclusion rules and regulations, and provide resources to individuals who make the choice to self-exclude.
  • We encourage patrons to set a budget that they can afford to and never play beyond their means, and not view gaming as a means to financial success.
  • We encourage patrons to set time and financial limits on their gaming and stick to them, not to chase losses.
  • We believe in a shared responsibility approach to addressing problem gaming and are committed to working with policy makers, academic experts and researchers, problem gaming treatment organizations, advocacy groups, and our partners as well as with our customers to promote responsible gaming and address problem gaming.
  • We support funding for evidence-based problem and responsible gaming research.
  • We provide all applicable employees with responsible gaming training upon hire and regularly thereafter, in order to embed responsible gaming culture in our businesses.
  • We are committed to evaluating and continuously monitoring our respective responsible gaming programs and initiatives.

Rege Behe is lead contributor to CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at rbehe@cdcgaming.com. Please follow @RegeBehe_exPTR on Twitter.