The NFL Season is in full swing, fans are flooding back into stadiums, and an increasing number of U.S. consumers are streaming games and watching from the comforts of their home. But there is something different this year – 45.2 million Americans, a record number of U.S. consumers, will be able to wager on a legal and regulated website for the first time this NFL season.
This presents enormous opportunities for the industry, leagues and other stakeholders as well as state and local governments who stand to generate significant tax revenue. But with this industry growth comes the need for a heightened commitment to responsible gaming.
As the industry comes together for Responsible Gaming Education Week (RGEW) to recognize the importance of responsible gambling, I encourage each and every stakeholder in the legal and regulated gaming and sports betting market to take a step back and think about the role they play in advancing our shared commitment to responsible play and strengthening the effectiveness of industry policies, processes and programs.
When GeoComply established Conscious Gaming® a year ago, we drew a line in the sand and made a commitment that our company would make a meaningful investment – in time, resources and technology – to make a difference and create new and innovative solutions that provide consumers with more choice, transparency and control over their gambling.
We’re thrilled to have received commitments from a number of leading public and private sector partners across the industry to advance our mission – and we’re immensely grateful for our Advisory Board’s invaluable insight and guidance that has led us to this point.
But we know that there is more to be done.
The greatest expansion of gambling in U.S. history is upon us. We must take responsible gaming measures more seriously and put the consumer at the heart of this debate. For example, before a state allows sports betting or other forms of online gaming, it must put technology in place that provides an online way for players to sign up for self-exclusion, if they wish.
Standardization is another imperative to ensuring consumer needs are met. Standardization in the self-exclusion process helps consumers more easily register and have a more informed understanding of what they’re signing up for. It would help operators better ensure compliance if they could manage one centralized and standardized system, where the rules are the same regardless of which state you’re in.
We are convening working groups and collaborative forums across industry stakeholders and regulators to tackle this issue. Conscious Gaming® is more committed than ever to responsible gambling and we believe the time is now and it starts with each of us. We all have a role to play. I’m excited to continue to advance our efforts. If you’d like to get involved with the consumer focused solutions we’re creating or to learn more about how PlayPause® can benefit consumers on your platform or within your jurisdiction, I’d love to hear from you.
We are hosting a webinar with the AGA on Thursday to discuss many of these important responsible gaming issues. Please register for this webinar using this link.