US Leading Online Operators launch Principles for Responsible Gaming
September – Responsible Gaming Education Month
The largest online gaming operators in the country have come together to agree to the first industry-led responsible gaming standards. The 12-point pledge is a commitment to principles of responsible online gaming and is recommended as the principles for an industry benchmark.
The announcement coincides with September’s designation as Responsible Gaming Education Month by the American Gaming Association.
The collaboration includes Bally’s Corporation, BetMGM, DraftKings, Entain, FanDuel, and MGM Resorts International.
The 12 principles are derived from four core attributes:
a) We participate only in legal markets that provide consumer protections.
b) We strive to instil responsible gaming culture throughout our respective businesses.
c) All forms of online gaming should be a fun activity and enjoyed as a form of entertainment.
d) 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, set out in the appendix, include a commitment to take active steps to prevent underage and excluded individuals from participating in any form of gaming. Operators commit to providing customers with informed choices about gaming through easily understood responsible gaming tools, and all entities will continuously conduct research to track the impact of this collaboration.
Further, the principles include the adoption and effective promotion of a unified nationwide responsible gaming toll-free helpline, and socially responsible advertising which avoids imagery that might entice minors in its marketing content.
Other provisions 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.
The collaboration also commits to employee training and continuously monitoring operators’ respective responsible gaming programs and initiatives to ensure their compliance with applicable standards.
“Bally’s is proud to partner with all of the participating operators. We are 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 Robeson Reeves, President of Interactive at Bally’s Corporation.
According to Joshua Jessen, Chief Legal Officer at BetMGM, “Responsible gaming is at the forefront of everything we do at BetMGM. 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. We look forward to building on our work into the future.”
DraftKings’ Senior Director of Responsible Gaming Chrissy Thurmond explained, “Essential to promoting safer play is a framework for operators to guide them in responsible gaming. 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.”
Martin Lycka, Entain’s Senior Vice-president for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling, commended the collaborators for recognizing a national need and committing their respective organizations to action. “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, 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 added, “We have the research, the data, and the partners – all the tools to establish an effective nation-wide code of responsible gaming principles. And we hope our industry and state regulators will join us in advancing these principles,” he said. “Our patrons deserve it.”
FanDuel’s Adam Warrington, Vice President, Responsible Gaming, added, “FanDuel is committed to collaborating and partnering with every participating operator, and our entire industry, on these 12 principles of responsible online gaming. Collectively, we have the privilege and opportunity to set the standard for what it means to be a responsible operator by collectively enabling our customers to enjoy our products, responsibly.”
Stephen Martino, Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer, MGM Resorts, said, “Responsibility has long been a core value at MGM Resorts and guides our leadership in the industry, and it’s vital for responsible gaming to be reflected in everything that bears the MGM name. Having the industry come together with a unified approach and standards puts the best interests of our guests, customers, and their families at the forefront. It’s the right thing to do for our customers, our industry and our businesses.”
Industry Collaborators’ Statement and 12 Principles for Responsible Online Gaming
The six market-leading operators endorse the following 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:
1. We take active steps to prevent underage and excluded individuals from participating in any form of gaming within our products;
2. 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;
3. We support the adoption and effective promotion of a unified nationwide responsible gaming toll-free helpline;
4. 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;
5. 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;
6. We abide by all self-exclusion rules and regulations, and provide resources to individuals who make the choice to self-exclude;
7. 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;
8. We encourage patrons to set time and financial limits on their gaming and stick to them, not to chase losses;
9. 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;
10. We support funding for evidence-based problem and responsible gaming research;
11. We provide all applicable employees with responsible gaming training upon hire and regularly thereafter, in order to embed responsible gaming culture in our businesses and
12. We are committed to evaluating and continuously monitoring our respective responsible gaming programs and initiatives.