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National Sportsbook Operators, Including Some in Ohio, Adopt Responsible Gaming Standards

Legal online sports betting has swept across the nation, including Ohio on January 1st, 2023. And as this form of legal gambling continues to spread across the country, ensuring that people engage in it responsibly is a rising concern for responsible gambling advocates. With different regulations and responsible gambling requirements from state-to-state, and a landscape that’s continually changing because of the fast-moving nature of online betting consistent national responsible gambling standards and principles are a challenge. 

That’s why a group of the largest sportsbook operators in the country have recently come together to form the first set of industry-led online responsible gambling standards. The group includes a number of national operators that already had or have recently established a presence in Ohio ahead of January 1, 2023, such as BetMGM, DraftKings, Bally’s, and FanDuel.

“While we operate in a highly competitive industry, we are proud to stand together with our colleagues to adopt these important principles,” said Joshua Jessen, Chief Legal Officer at BetMGM, in a press release. “Creating a consistent standard of responsible gaming measures across the board greatly strengthens our collective commitment to our customers, employees, and the communities where we operate.”

The members of the group signed a pledge saying that they would operate according to responsible gaming standards. To create those standards, the group agreed to four guiding attributes: 

  1. Agreeing to participate only in legal markets that provide consumer protections.
  2. Striving to instill responsible gaming culture throughout their businesses. 
  3. Ensuring that online gaming stays a fun activity, to be enjoyed as a form of entertainment.
  4. Committing to developing and deploying responsible gaming tools and support, so that people who need them have easy access.

The group used those four attributes to develop 12 responsible gaming principles, which they all agreed to follow. The principles include a wide range of responsible sports betting and gambling provisions meant to protect sports bettors and make sure that children are not exposed to sports betting and gambling. The operators agreed to provide customers with informed choices about their gambling habits through responsible gambling tools and made a commitment to work with academics and responsible gambling experts. 

In addition to those big-picture commitments, the group also pledged to take practical steps to prioritize responsible gambling in their own businesses, like committing to training employees on responsible gambling and teaming up to help promote a unified nationwide toll-free responsible gambling helpline. 

“It’s truly a first for this market and a significant step for addressing problem gaming on a consistent basis,” said Martin Lycka, Entain’s Senior Vice-president for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling.

In Ohio, Before You Bet has launched a new responsible gambling effort to remind Ohioans to take a moment to pause before they play. To learn more, watch the new Pause Before You Play PSA video, and access free and educational resources at PauseBeforeYouPlay.org.

Do you think you or a loved one could have a problem with gambling? Confidential and non-judgmental support is available 24/7 by calling the free Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-589-9966 or texting 4HOPE to 741741. 

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