With the online US gaming and sports betting market continuing to legalize and grow, the importance and necessity of responsible gambling strategies should be on the minds of all incumbent operators, with Chris Soriano, VP, Chief Compliance Officer, Penn National Gaming, highlighting that there is much to be learned from land-based operations.
Soriano shared his thoughts on responsible gambling duties as part of the latest SBC Webinar, titled ‘Responsibility in Gambling – largest hurdle to online USA gambling regulations” which was sponsored by Jumio.
He stated: “A good place to draw experience from, is the land base experience that US operators have had, and what we’ve learned about the importance of working with regulators to make sure that a patron who wants to self-exclude on the land base side can easily do so.
“As an industry, that land base experience is there and a lot of lessons that we learn there can easily be brought in to underline the need to have the messaging around responsible gaming be prominent in a property.”
Opening the panel, experts were questioned on the significance of the opportunity of events like the Super Bowl and how they can be used to promote responsible gambling tools.
Tracy Parker, Director of Standards and Accreditation at the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC), described it as presenting ‘a great opportunity’, as the RGC sought to utilize the Big Game to publicize its message.
According to Parker, events like the Super Bowl can also be beneficial for casual and recreational gambling. She noted that when responsible gambling is discussed, operators and regulators actually mean problem gambling, and they focus on a small group of players that are suffering significant harm.
However, there are responsible gambling needs across the player spectrum, and with the number of eyes on the Super Bowl, the increased number of players offers a great opportunity to remind new and casual players on responsible gambling.
Next, guests were asked about the importance of introducing responsible gambling messaging and tools to those bettors in the US who are betting on sports for the first time.
Carolyn Renzin, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer, FanDuel, noted: “One of the interesting parts of the journey they are all on, as we’re learning here, is figuring out where’s the appropriate balance between the players’ responsibility to use tools provided to them as optional, versus the operators’ responsibility to proactively set limits and enhance regulatory requirements?
“And before operators are inclined to require something, more research is needed because we want to be sure that we know why we’re requiring something. There’s a lot of talk of let’s force this and that, but I think we aren’t there yet in part because we don’t have the research to prove to us that doing so will solve the problem at hand. We’ve got a lot of work to do to figure that out.”
Addressing the need to reduce issues around problem gambling, an audience member asked the panel if something like the UK’s GAMSTOP method of universally banning players from all platforms could be possible in the US as well, given the differences in state regulations.
Ryan Halstead, Jumio’s VP for North America, responded: “There’s no one solution. You’re going to have to develop a platform, and that platform is going to have to be able to tie in multiple signals. Those signals could be coming from GAMSTOP or other organizations.
“You’re going to have the ID portion, the ML portion, the duty of care portion, the affordability portion. You’re looking at a multitude of different things here.
“There should be a platform in the future where it can tie in different signals and be able to provide that information back to the gaming coordinators,” Halstead concluded.
You can watch the replay of the SBC Webinar “‘Responsibility in Gambling – largest hurdle to online USA gambling regulations’ by clicking the link here.