Conscious Gaming, the independent social responsibility non-profit established by GeoComply, has this week launched Bettor Safe, a national campaign to educate consumers about the risks of betting on illegal websites and the benefits of choosing legal and regulated gaming options.
Leveraging a multi-channel approach that will reach consumers through advertisements, videos, an informational website and state-specific resources, Bettor Safe aims to empower individuals to know where online betting is legal and distinguish between regulated and unregulated sites.
Conscious Gaming VP of Corporate Social Responsibility & Communications Seth Palansky explained: “Bettor Safe underscores Conscious Gaming’s commitment to consumer protection and safety by directly educating individuals about the risks of unregulated online betting.
“This campaign comes at a pivotal moment when American sports fans are gearing up for the NCAA basketball tournament amid a pandemic that continues to push individuals online. Now more than ever we must educate consumers and equip them with the tools to make more informed decisions about online betting.”
Today, 15 states and the District of Columbia offer some form of legal online betting. This includes sports betting, igaming and poker. But recent data from the American Gaming Association (AGA) suggests persistent confusion among consumers about online betting.
According to the AGA, 35% of individuals are unaware if online betting is legal in their states and many more, deceived by illegal operators, are wagering on unregulated sites. Bettor Safe will address misinformation by providing easy-to-find, consumer-facing resources about legal online betting, with the Bettor Safe website serving as an educational hub.
“The regulator community sees, firsthand, the risks that illegal gambling presents to consumers and state governments,” said the North American Gaming Regulators Association (NAGRA) in a statement in support of Bettor Safe.
“We cannot cede the established rules and safeguards of regulated internet gaming to offshore websites that have zero accountability. NAGRA is pleased to support Bettor Safe and we encourage all stakeholders to rally behind this campaign to educate consumers and stamp out unregulated internet gambling.”
A recent survey conducted by Conscious Gaming on behalf of the Bettor Safe campaign polled more than 500 adults in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, respectively, on their habits and attitudes towards online betting.
The survey found more than 25% of respondents in New Jersey and more than 30% of respondents in Pennsylvania are unaware if online betting is legal in their state or responded that it was not legal.
Further, the survey revealed about 75% of New Jersey and Pennsylvania residents could not or are not sure if they could differentiate a legal betting site from an illegal website. However, among those surveyed who currently bet online, respondents (42% in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania) overwhelmingly cite “safety and security” as most important to them.
Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Executive Director Kevin O’Toole noted: “Educating Pennsylvanians about the security and safety advantages of legal online betting is critical. Approved operators in Pennsylvania have been vetted and they meet high regulatory standards which permits consumers to wager on legal sites with the confidence that their funds and identity are secure and that regulated websites will be responsible and accountable.
“The Bettor Safe campaign is an important resource to empower consumers to identify and use these regulated sites in Pennsylvania.”