The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) gave Pennsylvania top marks for its responsible online gambling standards.
The NCPG graded out the Keystone State and six others where online casino apps are available.
Pennsylvania tied for first place with New Jersey and Connecticut by meeting the majority of standards through its PA online casinos, with room for improvement.
What did NCPG grade responsible gambling on?
The NCPG launched its Internet Responsible Gambling Standards in 2012 and have updated them on several occasions, most recently in May 2021.
In 2022, The NCPG employed VIXIO GamblingCompliance to analyze which states are best incorporating their standards for players.
The NCPG report covers 59 key points across nine different topics:
- Responsible gambling policies
- Staff training
- Supporting informed decision-making by players
- Assisting players
- Advertising and promotion
- Gaming and website features
Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New Jersey tied for first by meeting 46 points. Michigan (36), West Virginia (30), Delaware (29) and Nevada (28) fell much shorter in meeting responsible gambling standards.
The NCPG released a statement:
“iGaming regulations in Delaware, Michigan, Nevada and West Virginia do not mandate operators provide players with sufficient responsible gambling protections. Regulations from Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania met a majority of the standards outlined in the IRGS, but still fall short of meeting the full list. IRGS sets the standard for consumers to ensure whichever operator they choose; they can be confident that the platform has the responsible gambling tools necessary to assist in playing safely.”
Breaking down PA online casinos’ strengths and weaknesses
Pennsylvania graded out well in most categories. The Keystone State received perfect marks in the following areas:
- Policy: 4 of 4 criteria met
- Staff training: 2 of 2 criteria met
- Assisting players: 2 of 2 criteria met
- Research: 2 of 2 criteria met
Only New Jersey also met both criteria for research. None of the other five states met either criteria.
Pennsylvania struggled the most in advertising and promotion, meeting only two of four requirements, along with game and website features, reaching only 10 of 16 requirements.
PA responsible gambling results
For advertising and promotion, Pennsylvania failed on:
- Operator to have clearly articulated commitment to responsible advertising
- Operator to not advertise product on responsible gambling pages
For game and website features, Pennsylvania failed on:
- Games display bets, wins, losses and account balances as cash
- Responsible gambling review of new game features
- Free games unavailable without an account
- Free games to use same payout percentage and odds as their real-money counterparts
- Players must not be discouraged from withdrawing winnings
- Communications do not intentionally encourage increased play, continuous gambling or chasing losses
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s (PGCB) Communications Director, Doug Harbach, provided comment on these results. He said:
“The Board is pleased the PA Gaming Control Board was cited as a regulator who is meeting most of the online responsible gambling standards the NCPG believes should be in place. At the same time, the PGCB remains dedicated to research and development of additional regulations and policies in this gaming space as gambling through the internet expands.”
To sum it all up, Pennsylvania is committed to responsible gambling (policy), training staff members, assisting players and research. Though Pennsylvania did not get perfect marks, it graded out well in other categories such as self-exclusion and supporting informed decision-making by players.
According to the NCPG, Pennsylvania needs to improve on advertising and the features within websites and apps.