Responsible Gaming Resources Get a Boost Amid Full Return of PA Sports Betting

Posted on September 28, 2020 - Last Updated on October 25, 2020

Thirty-three million American adults plan to bet on NFL games this season. It will be the first time that NBA and NHL games are playing on the same timeline as the NFL. In addition, there is MLB and college football action. In a year turned upside down by the coronavirus, the full-throttle return of sports is a welcome sight.

It also provides advocates and operators the opportunity to up their game when it comes to responsible gaming measures.

Here are some highlights from the recent Responsible Gaming Education Week and other resources.

Sports betting marketing code from AGA

The American Gaming Association activated the enforcement process for its sports betting marketing code. Members of the AGA developed it to set standards for traditional and digital marketing and advertising of sports wagering.

The self-regulated program is overseen by the Code Compliance Review Board, consisting of two independent co-chairs and five AGA member representatives, who include Chris Soriano, vice president and chief compliance officer at Penn National Gaming, and Laura McAllister Cox, vice president of regulatory compliance and legal counsel at Rush Street Gaming.

The four main standards of the code are:

  • Respecting the legal age for sports wagering: This aims to keep the messaging about sports betting geared toward the appropriate audience. It also says that sports wagering should not be advertised on college or university campuses or news outlets.
  • Supporting responsible gaming: Messaging should not suggest guaranteed financial success or irresponsible play and has to contain a responsible gaming message.
  • Controlling digital media and websites: Sports betting apps and websites should include responsible gaming messages. Age checks and geolocation also are required in order to screen users.
  • Monitoring code compliance: AGA members will provide training on the provisions of this code, including periodic refreshers and updates, to all individuals involved in the advertising or marketing of sports wagering services.

NASCAR teams with AGA for responsible gaming message

Start your engines … but know when to pump the brakes.

The American Gaming Association’s “Have a Game Plan. Bet Responsibly.” campaign hitched a rise with its first professional sports league partner. NASCAR will develop co-branded content that encourages sports bettors to “Know When To Pit” and bet responsibly. NASCAR.com will also produce original responsible gaming content for NASCAR.com/betcenter, which provides fans with stats, odds and information designed to help them make informed decisions in the fantasy and gaming space.

“Ensuring that our fans have the resources to bet responsibly is a founding principle of our gaming strategy,” said Scott Warfield, managing director, gaming, NASCAR.

“The AGA uniquely understands the convergence of legal betting, sports and responsible gaming. As sports bettors increasingly engage with NASCAR, we look forward to working together to promote bettor education and resources that help prepare our fans for the rapidly expanding legal sports betting landscape.”

PA Rep says responsible gaming efforts need to grow along with expansion

Pennsylvania Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Jefferson Hills), who helped relaunch the Congressional Gaming Caucus, penned a letter for Responsible Gaming Education Week with Nevada Rep. Dina Titus

It read, in part:

“We welcome Responsible Gaming Education Week because gaming plays a major role in supporting economic growth and job creation in both our states. Before COVID-19, gaming supported one in four jobs in Nevada and employed more than 400,000 people. In Pennsylvania, the industry supported more than 33,000 jobs.

“Gaming also contributes $2.5 billion in annual taxes in Pennsylvania and nearly $1 billion in Nevada. These funds support schools, infrastructure and first responders and alleviate the tax burden for families and residents. Gaming taxes also directly fund problem gambling services and additional public health efforts to ensure individuals who need help have access to it.

“Sports betting, a longtime betting option for Nevadans, has exploded in popularity across the country, including in Pennsylvania, where local regulators and policymakers are making sure the industry’s responsible gaming efforts grow along with it.”

PlayPause aids with self-exclusion

GeoComply, a geolocation solutions provider, helped operators solve that pesky Apple problem when sportsbook apps arrived in PA last year. Now, they are making it easier to manage self-exclusion in the iGaming and online sports betting industries across state lines through the launch of a new tool, PlayPause. Through a newly established nonprofit, Conscious Gaming, it is available free to operators.

Elizabeth Lanza, director of the office of compulsive and problem gambling at the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), commented:

“Pennsylvania is pleased to be at the forefront of a new responsible gaming tool, designed to strengthen consumer protection and take self-exclusion programs in a new direction.”

Resources for help with Problem Gambling

The PGCB operates www.ResponsiblePlay.pa.gov. The site provides information on how to recognize the warning signs of a gambling problem and on finding available treatment options in Pennsylvania.

Additional resources:

National Problem Gambling Hotline:

Call: 1-800-522-4700
Text: 1-800-522-4700
Chat: ncpgambling.org/chat

Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania:

P.O. Box 444
Spring House, PA 19477
Tel: 215-643-4542
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.pacouncil.com
Helpline: 800-848-1880

Lead image credit: AP Photo/Nick Wass

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Katie Kohler

Katie Kohler is a Philadelphia-area based award-winning journalist. She covers the Pennsylvania gambling industry with an emphasis on sports betting, online casino/poker and the lottery.

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