5 Leading PA Online Operators Form Responsible Gambling Association

Written By Matthew Lomon on March 27, 2024 - Last Updated on March 28, 2024
Five hands in black and white on a blue background come together in a high five. The Responsible Online Gaming Association includes seven major US operators, including five of the largest in Pennsylvania.

Five of Pennsylvania’s most prominent online gambling operators have banded together to further develop responsible gambling research, education, and best practices.

The group formally known as the Responsible Online Gaming Association made the news official in a statement Wednesday morning. Members of the nationwide ensemble include BetMGM, bet365, DraftKings, Fanatics Betting and Gaming, FanDuel, Hard Rock Digital, and PENN Entertainment.

Of those seven, only Hard Rock and bet365 are not currently operating in Pennsylvania.

ROGA’s five Pennsylvania operators are responsible for more than 77% of the lifetime sports betting market share in the state and includes the top three PA sportsbooks: FanDuel (39%), DraftKings (24%) and BetMGM (6.6%)

According to ROGA, these seven operators represent over 85% of the legalized online sports betting and casino industry. The septet has pledged more than $20 million in support of ROGA’s first-year mission.

Together, the independent trade association will actively promote a new industry-wide best practices charter.

Recognized RG expert Dr. Jennifer Shatley to head ROGA

The unprecedented effort will operate under the guidance of Dr. Jennifer Shatley, a highly respected responsible gambling expert with more than 25 years of experience in the industry.

Dr. Shatley, a member of the National Council on Problem Gambling and Co-Chair of the Compliance Review Board for the American Gaming Association’s Responsible Marketing Code for Sports Wagering, will take over as ROGA’s full-time Executive Director.

“I am humbled, honored, and excited to be selected to lead ROGA during this important period of growth in legalized mobile gaming,” said Dr. Shatley in the release.

“Many of America’s largest legal mobile gaming operators will be establishing a framework that helps to aid in responsible gaming education and awareness. Together, our members will work alongside researchers, experts, regulators and stakeholders to promote responsible online gaming and maximize our efforts to support additional responsible gaming education and awareness.

“By coming together with a clear set of objectives, ROGA and our members will work to enhance consumer protections and help provide easier and more efficient access to responsible gaming tools for consumers to enjoy the entertainment of online gaming.”

Prior to joining ROGA, Dr. Shatley also served as President of the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling.

ROGA’s mission defined by 5 pillars of focus

Understanding the broad nature of its undertaking, ROGA sorted its mission into five pillars of focus. Doing so, the organization says, will allow it to drive the most meaningful impact toward responsible gambling education.

The five pillars designed to assist with that goal are as follows:

  • Research – ROGA will advocate for and fund independent research looking into gambling-related issues. This includes the effectiveness and impact of RG measures aimed at promoting sustainable play, for example.
  • Promoting Responsible Gaming Best Practices – The association will encourage and advocate for the application of RG best practices intended for utilization across the industry.
  • Consumer and Industry Responsible Gaming Education and Awareness – ROGA will serve as a vehicle to drive both consumer and industry RG education and awareness. Further, it will also encourage responsible advertising and marketing practices among industry members.
  • Independent Data Clearinghouse – ROGA will work closely with member companies to create a database that will both facilitate information and stand as a mechanism for industry-wide protection of customers. Specifically, this will be done via an independent clearinghouse.
  • Independent Certification Program – ROGA will establish an independent certification program to evaluate members’ RG policies and procedures. As a result, members will receive an objective, third-party evaluation of their RG efforts.

The series of initiatives will fall under Dr. Shatley’s purview.

ROGA members account for majority of lifetime PA online sports betting handle

Considering the wagering volume ROGA members take in nationwide, it’s vital for these operators to support the development of responsible gambling research and education. It’s especially important for responsible gambling resources in Pennsylvania to be both accessible and effective.

The five ROGA members that operate in Pennsylvania – FanDuel, DraftKings, PENN (ESPN BET), BetMGM, and Fanatics – have generated over $21.6 billion of the state’s lifetime handle. Most recent records show the combined handle figure among all legal online PA sportsbook operators is just over $28 billion.

For those curious, ROGA’s PA fab five contributed $558.2 million in online sportsbook handle for February. That’s 84.3% of the $661,740,812 total.

The timing behind forming a group of industry heavyweights is right on point.

Photo by PlayPennsylvania
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Matthew Lomon

Matthew Lomon has been a contributor at Catena Media’s network of regional sites since July 2022. He first broke into covering the legal North American gambling industry with PlayCanada. Since then, Matthew's reporting has extended to PlayMichigan, PlayPennsylvania, and PlayIllinois. Based out of Toronto, Ontario, Matthew is an avid (bordering on fanatic) sports fan.

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