More Americans than ever have access to legal gambling—whether at one of 989 tribal or commercial casinos, 33 legal sports betting jurisdictions, or in seven iGaming states. In the past year alone, sports betting has been legalized in 10 states. The expansion of digital payments and mobile offerings means our offerings are more convenient than ever.
Responsible Gaming Education Week (RGEW) 2021, September 19-25, provides an opportunity to examine how we are expanding our responsibility efforts to meet the changing needs of our customers – many of whom are either new to the game, or The transition to the legal market is coming from illegal operators.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) is helping lead this effort through our “Have a Game Plan: Betting Responsibly” campaign, which brings together leagues and teams, media, gaming operators and Bettors provide consistent information on responsible sports betting. Our partners – DraftKings, FanDuel, Monumental Sports and Entertainment, NASCAR, National Hockey League, PGA Tour, Sightline Payments, UFC and the Vegas Golden Knights – are delivering radio, television and radio programming on-site and Outdoor advertising, digital and social media, etc. As new businesses take advantage of sports betting opportunities, Have A Game Plan information will become increasingly important as we seek to build a sustainable legal market.
While sports betting offers a new way to engage in gaming, digital payments are modernizing the way our customers interact at casinos. Digital casino payments provide on-demand tools for responsible gaming, allowing customers to set funding and play time limits, monitor their budgets and track their gambling history. The tools also give operators greater insight into underlying problem gambling behavior and the ability to implement automated interventions.
It is important that operators and suppliers continue to incorporate responsible gaming into their culture through training and product development. Employee training continues to become more complex, through efforts such as RG24seven or DraftKings’ partnership with Cambridge Health Alliance to develop a public health model for employee education. Vendors such as Aristocrat are taking an enterprise-wide approach to responsible gaming integration, and others are working with academia to deepen our understanding of responsibility in the age of expansion – for example, Global Payments and Sightline Payments in partnership with the University of Nevada , Las Vegas.
Customer education and gaming tools combined with robust employee training are at one end of the RG range. We are also committed to providing resources and tools to those in need. The main support tools – problem gambling helplines and self-exclusion programs – need to evolve to meet today’s gaming environment and modern casino customers.
Helplines for gambling problems at the state and national level provide vital support by connecting callers to the resources they need. For now, many states require gaming operators to list state-specific problem gambling helplines in their advertisements. This is an essential service for localized advertising, but creates confusion and inconsistency in national advertising. The AGA recently issued proposals to simplify these requirements, allowing state gambling ads to use state helpline numbers that can provide callers with resources or direct them to local programs. By better highlighting available resources, this small change can have a huge impact.
Self-exclusion lists, which allow players to voluntarily block themselves from gaming sites and properties, have also traditionally been isolated at the state level. In a technology-leading industry where consumers are constantly crossing state lines to bet on casinos or mobile phones, self-exclusion needs to become a more seamless experience. Solutions like Conscious Gaming’s PlayPause program are a step in the right direction. Simplifying processes across carriers, media and geographies will only serve our industry and customers better.
Our customers also benefit from gaming innovation. Gamban allows users to block gambling sites on their devices, and operators like FanDuel are partnering with the program to give customers free access to its services.
Kindbridge brings the telehealth revolution into the game by connecting those in need with online mental health professionals, another important step in convenience and privacy. Entain Foundation US, a non-profit organization funded by BetMGM co-parent company Entain, recently launched Gamble Responsibly America, a free app that allows players to monitor their gambling behavior and access responsible gaming and problem gambling on-demand. resource.
While we have come a long way, building a sustainable industry requires a new era of responsible gaming. Starting with Responsible Gaming Education Week 2021, the AGA is eager to move this conversation forward.