Top US operators launch Responsible Online Gaming Association

Top US operators launch Responsible Online Gaming Association

Seven U.S. operators including FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Penn Entertainment, Fanatics Betting & Gaming, Hard Rock Digital, and bet365 have announced the formation of the Responsible Online Gaming Association (ROGA).

The operators are uniting to establish a trade association aimed at advocating responsible gaming practices. This initiative marks the first instance where these companies will collaborate to exchange information regarding individuals affected by problem gambling.

The members account for more than 85% of the legal online betting market in the United States. Collectively they have pledged more than $20 million to fund ROGA.

Jennifer Shatley, executive director of ROGA, said:

I’m incredibly excited to move this forward and to really do some impactful things and to really expand the knowledge through the research and to create these evidence-based best practices and to really empower players with information.

ROGA members pledge to collaborate on various fronts, including education, promoting responsible gaming practices, and ensuring conscientious advertising and marketing throughout the industry.

Additionally, the consortium plans to establish an independent clearinghouse, facilitating the sharing of crucial information concerning consumer protection. While specific operational details are yet to be finalized, ROGA aims to develop a certification program to evaluate members’ responsible gaming endeavors, offering incentives for participation.

This initiative arises amidst the significant expansion of sports betting, both online and offline, across the nation since 2018, with thirty-eight states and Washington, D.C., now permitting legal sports wagering.

Despite the industry’s growth, concerns persist over gambling-related scandals and their impact on sports integrity, highlighting the importance of responsible gaming practices.

However, some insiders in the gambling industry are skeptical about ROGA, viewing it as a mere marketing ploy to address public relations concerns. Caesars, notably absent from ROGA’s founding group, emphasized its 35 years of experience in responsible gaming, stating that it focuses solely on adults aged 21 and older, regardless of state regulations allowing younger players. While some platforms permit players as young as 18, the industry is striving to safeguard its youngest and most susceptible customers, with initiatives like the American Gaming Association’s agreement aimed at protecting college-aged students from the marketing and advertising of sports betting, launched last March.

Peter Jackson, CEO of Flutter, the parent company of FanDuel, emphasizes that responsible gaming is essential for good business. However, he cautions that while legal operators strive to enhance responsible gambling, the illegal market remains ready to accept bets from problem gamblers.

Peter Jackson, CEO of Flutter, told:

I urge the state regulators to help us by clamping down on some of those black market operators.