BetMGM, a leading sports betting and iGaming operator, is pledging to promote responsible gambling in its messaging and advertising. The commitment kicks off Problem Gambling Awareness Month.
The sportsbook, operated in the US by Entain sports group, will feature responsible gaming themes and messages across much of its brand marketing. The responsible gaming messages will also appear on BetMGM’s online app.
Pledge adds to BetMGM’s commitment to promote responsible gambling
Since August 2019, West Virginia sports betting has been live in the state. There are currently eight online sportsbooks open to bettors in West Virginia.
BetMGM’s pledge is in addition to GameSense, a program the company uses that’s focused on “positive, transparent and proactive conversations with players about how to gamble responsibly,” BetMGM said in a news release. In the same release, BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt said the sportsbook is all in on gambling responsibly.
“We are committed to leading the industry in promoting responsible gaming, which is why we are announcing this unprecedented pledge to spotlight responsible gaming messaging in our advertising. As the legalized sports betting and online gaming industry continues to expand, it is vital that we not only equip players with tools and resources for how to play in a responsible and safe manner, but that we also make a significant commitment to showcasing responsible gaming in our advertising.”
BetMGM is also expanding its partnership with GameSense
The pledge made by BetMGM is a nearly all-encompassing shift in marketing and advertising during March’s Problem Gambling Awareness Month. According to BetMGM, all of its print media — from billboards to magazines, flyers to newspaper ads — will prominently feature responsible gambling messaging.
All of its radio, television, and podcast advertisements and marketing are part of the commitment, the company said. The BetMGM sportsbook app will also highlight the responsible gambling messaging. And BetMGM’s social media accounts will continue to spread the message.
In order to maximize its pledge, BetMGM is expanding its partnership with GameSense. Essentially, BetMGM has incorporated GameSense into all of its online platforms. GameSense provides tools to players to help them learn how to gamble responsibly. It offers players options such as spending limits and gives them information disproving common misconceptions about gambling.
BetMGM, other sportsbooks have given grants to research problem gambling
BetMGM and MGM Resorts have invested in responsible gaming for years. In 2022, BetMGM awarded two separate grants to The International Center for Responsible Gaming totaling $430,000, Greenblatt said. He said:
“While today’s announcement is a significant step forward, one that we hope other operators will follow, we also know that this is just the start. Research is essential to progress and will make an important contribution to tackling problem gambling. We are committed to protecting players across the country and have partnered with The International Center for Responsible Gaming to help better understand and tackle the issues around advertising and problem gambling.”
Other online sportsbook operators have stepped up, just as Greenblatt hoped. Bally’s has awarded $600,000 to the center, Caesars Entertainment has awarded $200,000, and The Sands has awarded $300,000.
Report calls out West Virginia for not promoting responsible gambling
The Mountain State has not done a great job when it comes to promoting responsible online gambling. That’s according to the National Council on Problem Gambling in its 2022 report.
West Virginia was one of four states — the others being Delaware, Michigan, and Nevada — that failed to meet the council’s standards. The report said West Virginia came up short in its strategy to encourage responsible gambling despite having many of the needed resources.
Specifically, the state was not providing information to bettors to show the risks of gambling, the signs of a gambling addiction or problem gambling, and the ability to set limits, according to the report.
What BetMGM is doing, especially with its partnership with GameSense, is exactly what the council wants the state to do.