PointsBet and the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) announced the launch of a research initiative centered around responsible gambling decision-making for online operators.
The Australian operator and the Washington, DC-based non-profit announced the launch of their initiative with the aim to center it around online casinos and sportsbooks and the tools and methods players can use to be sure their casual playing isn’t turning into an addiction. The project comes as legal sports betting spreads like wildfire across the US, raising concerns about the possible rise of problem gambling.
PointsBet USA CEO, Johnny Aitken, said:
“With the rapid expansion of legalized sports betting across the US, a commitment to responsible gambling today will have a direct impact on the future health of players and sustainability of the industry.”
In collaboration with NCPG and the Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health, PointsBet’s anonymous and voluntary survey was issued to more than 700 attendees of Boston’s recent National Conference on Gambling Addiction & Responsible Gambling 2022.
Details about the responsible gambling initiative
The purpose of this research project is to understand how various industry, government, and clinical stakeholders would respond to different scenarios in which a fictional customer demonstrates potentially problematic gambling behavior.
The survey asked about three case studies where a gambler shows signs of potential gambling addiction. Those who opted-in were asked to take on the role of an online casino or a sports betting operator and determine the best course of action for the customer based on the observed behavior.
As Aitken explained:
“Navigating how to identify and address problem gambling is a complex and sensitive issue, and operators are regularly faced with how to best respond to customers who are exhibiting problematic gambling behavior.”
“Through this research project, we’re aiming to gain more insights on the thought process that goes into finding solutions for those impacted by problem gambling as well as better help inform operator decision making on this matter.”
Helping inform operators on what to do with potential problem gamblers
The National Council on Problem Gambling’s executive director, Keith Whyte, hopes this research will initiate a dialogue between operators and regulators:
“Online gambling operators are required to provide various responsible gambling tools. These tools should be regularly reviewed and evaluated by stakeholders to ensure they are adequately serving customers.”
“Our hope is that the results of this survey will spark dialogue amongst operators as well as regulators, treatment providers, researchers, and problem gambling advocates to help inform the responsible gambling decisions that online gambling operators face.”
The goal of this research is to identify what resources or steps online sportsbook operators should take to best prevent people from becoming problem gamblers. The results are expected to be published in September 2022 and should help inform operators when deciding what to do with potential problem gamblers.