Safe Bet Show: ‘People in US industry are cognizant of consumer protection’

The US gambling industry is moving in a ‘really great’ way in terms of implementing responsible gambling measures, with a collective responsibility towards keeping players safe, according to Tammi Barlow, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Rush Street Interactive.

Speaking on the latest episode of Martin Lycka’s Safe Bet Show, Barlow acknowledged the progress made in the US in terms of the attitude towards RG over the last decade since her time working in the lottery industry, moving into William Hill, IGT and RSI. 

Asked about the current state of RG in the US, she remarked: “What I can say is all of the responsible gaming practitioners that I’ve met, I think the industry is moving in a really great way. I think people are very cognizant of consumer protection – there is almost an unspoken acknowledgment that it’s all of our responsibilities to protect consumers, especially with all of the types of gaming available now. 

“I have seen lots of great organizations come like the NCPG and AGA – some really dedicated people – and I think this is the one space where everyone just wants to continue to do better.”

Despite the positive belief that Barlow holds towards RG in the US, she did note that progress must be made to modernize certain pieces of legislation to match the technology used in the industry. 

She detailed that tools such as self-exclusion must be worked on amongst different states in a ‘refresh’ of responsible gambling measures. Additionally, she explained that she would like to see ‘a unified one or two numbers where people can get help’ as part of a ‘modification’ to best benefit players. 

Later, the conversation changed to the blend between technology and human touch when it comes to monitoring and treating gambling-related harms. Barlow stated that, whilst algorithms and quantitative data is essential, there must always be a human angle to spotting the sign of problem gambling. 

She added: “I would not ever think that just a fully automated system labeling ‘this person has this’ (would work). I think that there always has to be a human element.

“I think that – again – of all my counterparts at different companies, their people that are having these programs are passionate so that they want to see the chats. They want to see the player’s history. 

“I think too that working with our local councils and getting an understanding of what services they are providing (is important). We are all working together so there is the research – the numbers – but you’ve always got to have that human element.”