Virginia Betting Companies Team Up For Responsible Online Gaming Pact

Posted on September 29, 2022

Some of most popular Virginia sportsbooks are working together to help promote responsible online gaming in Virginia and across the country. The result is some of the first national, industry-led responsible gaming standards.

Bally’s, BetMGM (including related companies Entain and MGM Resorts International), DraftKings, and FanDuel put together the 12-point pledge. They announced the details on Sept. 22.

“Responsible gaming is at the forefront of everything we do at BetMGM,” BetMGM Chief Legal Officer Joshua Jessen said. He went on to say:

“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 companies timed the announcement with an American Gaming Association effort. The AGA declared September as Responsible Gaming Education Month.

The sportsbooks set out to make sure:

  • Gambling age restrictions are enforced.
  • Operators offer customers responsible gaming tools to make informed decisions.
  • Problem gaming help includes a “unified responsible gaming toll-free helpline.”
  • The operators also believe “socially responsible” advertisements can help, too.

What are the 12 principles for responsible online gaming?

The first six

  • Take active steps to prevent underage and excluded individuals from using their products.
  • Help patrons make informed choices about their gaming. The effort includes easy-to-read information about how to play and responsible gaming tools.
  • Begin and promote a unified nationwide responsible gaming toll-free helpline.
  • Gaming already has state and federal advertising standards. The sportsbooks pledge to meet those standards. They plan to avoid using minors in marketing content as well. Look for age-appropriate actors, company representatives and influencers in future campaigns.
  • Customers will find self-exclusion tools more easily as well. That included financial details, other account limits and betting histories as well.
  • The sportsbooks agree to live by the same self-exclusion rules and regulations as part of the agreement.

The next six

  • Sportsbooks will encourage customers to set a budget as well. Gamblers should bet only what they can afford. They should never play beyond their means. Gaming should be fun — don’t play for a huge payday.
  • Customers should set time and financial limits on their gaming. Then, stick to them. Don’t chase losses.
  • The companies will work with policymakers more. They’ll call on academic experts and researchers, problem gaming treatment organizations, advocacy groups, and partners as well.
  • Support funding for evidence-based problem and responsible gaming research;
  • Give employees responsible gaming training when they’re hired. Continually update the training as well.
  • Remain committed to an update of responsible gaming efforts.

Responsible online gaming principles are ‘an important milestone’

Gambling is more promoted and mainstream than ever. Thus, new rules and regulations are necessary to ensure the safety of those wagering. Entain Senior Vice President for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling Martin Lycka stated:

‘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 U.S. markets.”

Lycka hopes more operators join the effort.

“We have the research, the data, the partners – all the tools to establish an effective nationwide code of responsible gaming principles. And we hope our industry and state regulators will join us in advancing these principles. Our patrons deserve it.”

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Adam Hensley

Adam Hensley is a journalist from Des Moines, Iowa, who currently works for the USA Today Network. His byline has appeared in the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated and sites within the USA Today Network. Hensley graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 and spent his college career working for the Daily Iowan’s sports department, both as an editor and reporter.

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