The largest online gaming operators in the country have come together to agree to the first industry-led responsible gaming standards. The 12-point pledge is a commitment to principles of responsible online gaming and are recommended as the principles for an industry benchmark.
The announcement coincides with this month’s designation as Responsible Gaming Education Month by the American Gaming Association.
The collaboration includes Bally’s Corporation, BetMGM, DraftKings, Entain, FanDuel, and MGM Resorts International.
The 12 principles are derived from four core attributes:
a) We participate only in legal markets that provide consumer protections.
b) We strive to instil responsible gaming culture throughout our respective businesses.
c) All forms of online gaming should be a fun activity and enjoyed as a form of entertainment.
d) While the vast majority of individuals can enjoy online gaming in a responsible way, some individuals need additional tools and support related to their gaming activities.
The 12 principles, set out in the appendix, include a commitment to take active steps to prevent underage and excluded individuals from participating in any form of gaming. Operators commit to providing customers with informed choices about gaming through easily understood responsible gaming tools, and all entities will continuously conduct research to track the impact of this collaboration.
Further, the principles include the adoption and effective promotion of a unified nationwide responsible gaming toll-free helpline, and socially responsible advertising which avoids imagery that might entice minors in its marketing content.
Other provisions call for “a shared responsibility approach to addressing problem gaming” and a commitment “to working with policy makers, academic experts and researchers, problem gaming treatment organizations, advocacy groups and partners” as well as customers to promote responsible gaming and address problem gaming.
The collaboration also commits to employee training and continuously monitoring operators’ respective responsible gaming programs and initiatives to ensure their compliance with applicable standards.
“Bally’s is proud to partner with all of the participating operators. We are committed to the 12-point pledge and it’s Bally’s and the industry’s responsibility to prevent underage gaming and provide education and safeguards,” said Robeson Reeves, President of Interactive at Bally’s Corporation.
According to Joshua Jessen, Chief Legal Officer at BetMGM, “Responsible gaming is at the forefront of everything we do at BetMGM. While we operate in a highly competitive industry, we are proud to stand together with our colleagues to adopt these important principles. 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. We look forward to building on our work into the future.”
DraftKings’ Senior Director of Responsible Gaming Chrissy Thurmond explained, “Essential to promoting safer play is a framework for operators to guide them in responsible gaming. DraftKings is pleased to be a part of this landmark effort that has culminated in the adoption of 12 responsible gaming principles across the participating operators – and that will benefit consumers around the United States.”
Martin Lycka, Entain’s Senior Vice-president for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling, commended the collaborators for recognizing a national need and committing their respective organizations to action. “These principles mark an important milestone, and I am delighted other leading operators have joined us in this commitment to responsible gaming in the rapidly growing U.S. markets, as responsibility sits at the heart of our business. It’s truly a first for this market and a significant step for addressing problem gaming on a consistent basis.”
He added, “We have the research, the data, the partners—all the tools to establish an effective nation-wide code of responsible gaming principles. And we hope our industry and state regulators will join us in advancing these principles,” he said. “Our patrons deserve it.”
FanDuel’s Adam Warrington, Vice President, Responsible Gaming, added, “FanDuel is committed to collaborating and partnering with every participating operator, and our entire industry, on these 12 principles of responsible online gaming. Collectively, we have the privilege and opportunity to set the standard for what it means to be a responsible operator by leading from the front and collectively enabling our customers to enjoy our products, responsibly.”
Stephen Martino, Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer, MGM Resorts, said, “Responsibility has long been a core value at MGM Resorts and guides our leadership in the industry, and it’s vital for responsible gaming to be reflected in everything that bears the MGM name. Having the industry come together with a unified approach and standards puts the best interests of our guests, customers, and their families at the forefront. It’s the right thing to do for our customers, our industry and our businesses.”
The six market-leading operators endorse the following statement and 12 principles for responsible online gaming:
We, the signatories, pledge to observe the following responsible gaming principles across all our online gaming related activities and to encourage all affiliated third parties, including but not be limited to content providers, social media influencers, social media accounts and brand ambassadors, to also adhere to these principles:
- We take active steps to prevent underage and excluded individuals from participating in any form of gaming within our products;
- We help patrons make informed choices about their gaming. We provide easy to read information about how to play, provide responsible gaming tools including information on how to access and use such tools; and provide other related information, including information about a toll-free helpline, as well as resources for those who are seeking support related to their gaming;
- We support the adoption and effective promotion of a unified nationwide responsible gaming toll-free helpline;
- We abide by applicable standards of socially responsible advertising, including compliance with all applicable state and federal laws and standards, and we avoid using minors in marketing content. We only use actors and company representatives in advertising and social media relating to gaming who reasonably appear to be above the legal age to gamble;
- We provide our customers with tools to play responsibly, including but not to limited to self-exclusion tools, financial and other account limits as well as customer betting histories;
- We abide by all self-exclusion rules and regulations, and provide resources to individuals who make the choice to self-exclude;
- We encourage patrons to set a budget that they can afford to and never play beyond their means, and not view gaming as a means to financial success;
- We encourage patrons to set time and financial limits on their gaming and stick to them, not to chase losses;
- We believe in a shared responsibility approach to addressing problem gaming and are committed to working with policy makers, academic experts and researchers, problem gaming treatment organizations, advocacy groups, and our partners as well as with our customers to promote responsible gaming and address problem gaming;
- We support funding for evidence-based problem and responsible gaming research;
- We provide all applicable employees with responsible gaming training upon hire and regularly thereafter, in order to embed responsible gaming culture in our businesses and
- We are committed to evaluating and continuously monitoring our respective responsible gaming programs and initiatives.
GLI Named Approved Data Standards Auditing Body by IBIA
Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) has been named an approved auditing body for International Betting Integrity Association’s (IBIA) Data Standards. Sports data providers wishing to be audited for the IBIA Data Standards and its kitemark will now be able to utilize GLI’s unparalleled expertise and global network of testing locations, streamlining the product auditing process and ensuring seamless compliance with IBIA standards.
This milestone underscores GLI’s commitment to excellence in gaming compliance and further solidifies its position as a trusted industry leader.
IBIA’s Data Standards process was launched in 2020. The association, which represents many of the leading regulated sports betting operators in the world, established the Standards in response to concerns about the adverse impact of the manipulation of data and the related corruption of betting markets. IBIA believes that the Data Standards are an effective means of protecting the integrity of sport, its data, betting markets generated by that data and consumers enjoying those products. Leading global data providers Stats Perform, Sportradar and GRID are all currently accredited.
IBIA CEO Khalid Ali said: “GLI is a globally recognized leader in its field, and IBIA welcomes the company’s desire to gain accreditation as an auditing body for the Data Standards. It recognizes the importance of the Data Standards and to maintaining the integrity of the processes underpinning the creation of the sports betting market. We look forward to working with GLI, which becomes one of only two companies that are accredited to provide auditing services for the IBIA Data Standards.”
Joseph Bunevith, VP of Government and Regulatory Affairs at GLI, said: “We are grateful for the opportunity to embark on this promising partnership, and we are thankful to IBIA for placing their trust and confidence in GLI. GLI’s testing, auditing, and depth of knowledge in sports betting is second to none, and we expect this relationship to foster great outcomes for the global sports betting industry.”
HALLO Compliance Network to Discuss Sports Integrity in the US
HALLO Compliance Network, the platform bridging the gap between technology and the law, and Home of monthly online meetups fostering growth, education, and collaboration, returns with its 2nd HALLO Compliance Meetup featuring a powerhouse panel on “Safeguarding Integrity in Sports“!
The next HALLO Compliance Network Virtual Meetup will take place on December 19 via Zoom at 12:00 PM EST, featuring a compelling panel discussion that delves deep into the pressing issues surrounding sports integrity, match-fixing, and betting addiction.
The sports betting industry, including operators, providers, regulators and customers, recognizes that the essence of exhilarating sports betting lies in fair sports competitions. Consequently, numerous gambling laws prioritize the pivotal element of sports integrity. Locally, various educational initiatives have been implemented, and on a global scale, the Macolin Convention—a unique initiative dedicated to promoting fairness in sports—has garnered ratification from nine countries and signatures from an additional 32. Moreover, major sports federations such as the IOC and FIFA have initiated their own programs and initiatives in support of this cause.
The HALLO panel will have a closer look at how the prevention of the manipulation of sports competitions looks like in the US at this point in time, five years after first states regulated sports betting.
Meet the Panelists
This powerhouse panel features renowned experts in the field of sports integrity and regulatory compliance:
– Jim Brown, Head of Integrity Services, North America & Athlete Wellbeing globally at Sportradar
– Martin Lycka, SVP American Regulatory Affairs & Responsible Gambling at Entain
– Jai Maw, Co-Founder and President of Betting Hero
– Bill Pascrell III, partner at Princeton Public Affairs group and long-time advocate for reasonable regulations in igaming and sports betting in the US.
HALLO Compliance Network brings together a distinguished panel of experts to shed light on critical topics, exploring the multifaceted challenges and innovative solutions in the industry.
- Confronting Match Fixing: Is match fixing a significant concern in the US? We’ll explore its prevalence, the effectiveness of the educational and sports systems in combating it, and the role of legislation.
- A Global Perspective:Understanding why match fixing is a hot topic in regions like Asia, Europe, and South America, and discussing the cultural and systemic differences.
- Technological Implications: Examining how new technologies like deepfakes impact sports integrity, alongside the growing intersection between esports and sports integrity.
- International Initiatives: Delving into the Macolin Convention, educational campaigns, and transparency projects aimed at tackling these issues globally.
- Betting Addiction Among Athletes: Addressing recent cases and the ongoing challenge of betting addiction in the sports community.
This panel promises an in-depth exploration of the challenges facing sports integrity today, offering perspectives from legal, regulatory, technological, and ethical viewpoints. Join us for a session that’s as informative as it is engaging, perfect for professionals, enthusiasts, and anyone keen on understanding the evolving landscape of sports integrity.
Register and Tune in on December 19 via Zoom at 12:00 PM EST | 09:00 PST
Introducing HALLO Compliance Network and its Mission
The Acronym “HALLO” stands for “Highly Aligned Leaders in Legal Operations”. As the name suggests, HALLO Compliance Network is a platform putting Legal Operations at the forefront, especially in the contemporary Technology sector.
HALLO is a platform for bridging the gap between technology and the law, combining a trusted directory of legal experts specializing in Gambling, Blockchain, Fintech, and AI, and monthly virtual meetups focusing on learning and networking. HALLO is your Global Compliance Guide in Today’s cutting-edge fields, connecting Highly Aligned Leaders in Legal Operations.
Welcome to HALLO Compliance!
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Unanimously and Definitively Rules Pennsylvania Skill, powered by Pace-O-Matic, a Legal Game of Skill
The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania unanimously ruled that Pace-O-Matic’s (POM) Pennsylvania Skill games are legal games of skill.
In the case, originally brought forth in Dauphin County, the Commonwealth Court ruled that the POM game is a game of predominant skill, not a game of chance, and that the “POM machines are not slot machines [and] the POM machines are not illegal” as noted in the ruling.
“This is a major victory for Pennsylvania Skill, but it’s equally a victory for our operators and the thousands of small businesses, volunteer fire companies, and fraternal clubs who have come to depend on the revenue our games provide,” said Paul Goldean, President and CEO of Pace-O-Matic. “This is also a win for many players across the commonwealth who enjoy skill games as a popular entertainment option. Our games have always been legal, and this ruling proves that once and for all.”
In the ruling, the Commonwealth Court states explicitly that “POM machines are not slot machines” and goes on to reject the Commonwealth’s intentionally broad definition of a slot machine to include games of predominant skill, going so far as to state that “such an interpretation is inappropriate.”
The court agrees with the appellees that “substantial evidence supports the trial court’s legal conclusion that skill predominates over chance” in the POM game. The court also states in the ruling that the Commonwealth’s argument that the game’s skill-based elements are secondary, insignificant, or hidden is “factually untrue.”
The court therefore concludes that “POM machines are not gambling devices” and “therefore, do not constitute derivative contraband” and that “these electronic games are not illegal.”
Lastly, the court notes that “the Commonwealth was aware of adverse legal authority [referring to the Pinnacle case in which the POM game was determined a game of skill], it was required to cite and distinguish it.” Yet the Commonwealth omitted it. The court goes on to state that they “caution the Commonwealth that the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct require candor toward the tribunal and, specifically, the disclosure of directly adverse authority.
Chief Public Affairs Officer Michael Barley added, “We have won every Pennsylvania county court decision that has questioned the legality of our games, and this ruling should put an end to any discussion on the matter. Additionally, the Court took note and objected to the continued actions of state actors who have purposefully ignored the law, and court decisions, continually and purposefully misrepresented how our games operate, and put their fingers down on the scales of justice in a reckless attempt to have our skill games found illegal. Largely at the behest of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and a handful of casinos, led by Parx Casino. Thankfully, the court saw through those actions, analyzed the facts, and ruled appropriately our games are legal games of skill.”
Earlier this month, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania also affirmed the return of several skill game terminals by the Court of Common Pleas of Monroe County – in doing so, also ruling the POM game a legal game of skill.
“Now that this ruling is in place, I hope we can focus on the more pressing matter of regulating and taxing skill games,” Barley concluded. “We are urging the General Assembly to pass reasonable legislation, not only to support the small businesses and organizations who benefit from skill games but to generate tax revenue for the state while also to giving law enforcement the framework they need to tackle illegal gambling. It’s a win-win for the commonwealth.”
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