The gaming industry in the United States is coming together to promote the responsible use of its gaming platforms. Included in the new group looking to promote responsible gaming in the US are some of the biggest names in the US gaming industry.
Whether online or in the brick-and-mortar world, operators in the gambling space have to walk a fine line. On one side is the natural business imperative to generate revenue. On the other are the genuine dangers of problem gambling and addictive behavior.
For most people, gambling is a fun way to spend some time. However, there is a segment of the population for whom gambling presents real challenges and problems, and it is incumbent on the industry to provide support and help to those players who have an issue with responsible gaming.
The new collaboration includes big-name industry players like Bally’s Corporation, BetMGM, DraftKings, Entain Group, FanDuel, and MGM Resorts International. The “ Principles for Responsible Gaming” initiative is timed to coincide with the announcement of Responsible Gaming Education Month in September by the American Gaming Association.
The new industry group is a collaboration looking to set standards for responsible gaming across the US gaming industry. Four key attributes drive the principles that the partnership is promoting:
- We take part only in legal markets that provide consumer protection.
- We strive to instill responsible gaming culture throughout our respective businesses.
- All forms of online gaming should be a fun activity and enjoyed as entertainment.
- While most individuals can responsibly enjoy online gaming, some need additional tools and support related to their gaming activities.
Those four core attributes drive the 12 principles that the new consortium has agreed to. The major thrust of the 12 principles is a commitment to take active measures to prevent underage or excluded players from accessing the participants’ gaming services. The participants are also committed to providing responsible gaming tools that are easy to use and access and tracking the success of those tools.
Other aspects of the new initiative include a unified nationwide toll-free helpline on responsible gaming and a commitment to socially responsible advertising that does not target or entice minors. The latest industry group will adopt a shared responsibility to address problem gaming and work with relevant regulatory boards, industry groups, and customers to promote a responsible gaming ecosystem across the industry.
The participants are understandably quite excited about the new group. Entain’s Senior Vice President for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling Martin Lycka pointed to a national need for a unified responsible gaming strategy.
“These principles mark an important milestone, and I am delighted other leading operators have joined us in this commitment to responsible gaming in the rapidly growing US markets, as responsibility sits at the heart of our business. It’s truly a first for this market and a significant step for addressing problem gaming on a consistent basis,” he said in the press release.
Other collaborators were equally bullish on the new program. Robeson Reeves, President of Interactive at Bally’s Corporation, said he was “proud” to be part of the group and committed to the 12-point pledge. Joshua Jessen, Chief Legal Officer at BetMGM, put responsible gaming at the top of his list of priorities for the operator and said he was “proud to stand together with our colleagues to adopt these important principles.”
The full text of the 12-principle pledge the new group has adopted is below.
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 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 devices; 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 appropriate 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 and 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, never play beyond their means, and not view gaming as a path to financial success
- We encourage patrons to set time and monetary 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 policymakers, academic experts and researchers, problem gaming treatment organizations, advocacy groups, and our partners and with our customers to promote responsible gaming and address problem gaming
- We support funding for evidence-based problem solving and responsible gaming research
- We provide all applicable employees with responsible gaming training upon hire and regularly after that to embed responsible gaming culture in our businesses
- We are committed to evaluating and monitoring our respective responsible gaming programs and initiatives.