Online casino giants like BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDueland Bally’s Corporation may compete for business, but they’ve decided to come together for an even bigger reason. These operators all agree that responsible gaming is paramount and have set forth a new industry standard involving 12 principles, which stem from four core attributes.

It came to fruition last month, honoring Responsible Gaming Education Month, which takes place each September. The principles apply to bettors using PA online casinos, in addition to gamblers all over the US

The four attributes pertain to gambling online in a legal, fun and responsible manner, and providing tools and resources to individuals in need. They focus on taking active steps toward preventing underage gambling and excluded individuals from participating in any form of gaming.

Below, we will be diving into some of those principles in detail. You can find a comprehensive overview of the principles over at PlayNJ.

Responsible gaming in Pennsylvania

“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 US markets, as responsibility sits at the heart of our business,” said Martin Lycka, Senior Vice President for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling of Entain, who is also involved in the partnership. “It’s truly a first for this market and a significant step for addressing problem gaming on a consistent basis.”

FanDuel, BetMGM, Ballys, and DraftKings executives all echoed the sentiment, calling it a privilege to advance and promote responsible gaming and stating a commitment to it is essential.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board runs a free, confidential, 24/7 helpline (1-800-GAMBLER) and offers a self-exclusion program to help ensure responsible gambling. Other resources include the Council on Compulsive Gambling, the National Council on Problem Gambling, and Gamblers Anonymous.

A shared responsibility

My favorite principle follows in line with why these principles came about in the first place. Principle No. 9 states:

“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.”

The organizations spearheading the charge are leading by example, but it’s only a start. We have more data at our fingertips about how to find solutions to combat underage and problem gambling, and everybody can play a role in recognizing and treating it.

Rather than pointing the finger, a principle that encourages shared responsibility creates an inclusive, team mentality toward responsible gaming and establishes a strong culture around it.

After all, any gambling problems are not one person or company’s concern. They are shared, and we can all make a difference if we take responsibility.

Principles No. 5 and No. 6 go hand in hand

Principle No. 5 states:

“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.”

And Principle No. 6:

“Abide by all self-exclusion rules and regulations, and provide resources to individuals who make the choice to self-exclude.”

These two principles relate closely to one another. Firstly, casinos have a vested interest in proactively informing and educating their clientele to play responsibly. Gamblers deserve every resource available regarding the games they play, including strategy and how to enjoy those games responsibly.

Gambling involves risk, and this information needs to extend beyond basic messaging, to promoting safe betting habits and setting limits. It should also extend to responsibly enforcing self-exclusion and destigmatizing any negative connotations with the process.

Having a healthy mindset and financial approach to gambling

Two principles pertain to budgets, limits, and expectations around gambling.

Principle No. 7 says:

“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”

Principle No. 8 reads:

“We encourage patrons to set time and financial limits on their gaming and stick to them, not to chase losses”

Gambling is a form of entertainment and should be viewed as such. Without setting limits and sticking to them, gamblers risk losing more than they intended, which can lead to other problems related to family relationships, finances, and more.

Part of this is having a healthy mindset toward gambling. This includes sticking to a budget and not chasing losses when that budget has been exhausted, as it can snowball quickly and turn an entertainment expense into unintended consequences.

In the long run, gambling is a losing proposition for players. It is equally important to understand this, despite potential short-term possibilities. Thus, gaming is not a means to financial success.

Change is the only constant

Last but not least, Principle No. 12 states:

“We are committed to evaluating and continuously monitoring our respective responsible gaming programs and initiatives.”

The casino industry continues to grow and progress, especially as more states move to legalize online casino gaming. This principle demonstrates an understanding of the dynamic nature of responsible gaming and how it will continue to evolve.

It inspires trust to know that operators are taking this component seriously, staying on top of the available newest trends and data to put to use. By doing this, we can hopefully learn new ways to identify problem gambling behaviors before they become an issue.

The ultimate goal is to create an overall environment for adults to enjoy online gaming responsibly. This principle is a step in the right direction toward creating such an environment.

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