BetMGM, a leading iGaming and sports betting operator in the US, is further committing financial resources towards the betterment of responsible gambling.
MGM Resorts’ digital gaming and sportsbook unit announced today that it’s giving $180,000 in cash to the International Center for Responsible Gaming (ICRG).
Founded in 1996 as the National Center for Responsible Gambling, the Massachusetts-based nonprofit was renamed in early 2020 to better reflect its international scope. But its mission of developing remedial programs tailored to helping those with gambling disorders overcome such addiction has been steadfast throughout the organization’s 26 years.
BetMGM’s grant will support ongoing ICRG research investigating the impact gaming and sports betting advertising has on problem gamblers.
We are pleased to accept this historic contribution from BetMGM,” ICRG President Arthur Paikowsky said in a statement. “Findings from this evidence-based research study will allow us to better identify potential risks and guide best-practices for the gaming industry.”
“We commend BetMGM for partnering with us to better inform the public, operators, regulators, legislators, and the media,” Paikowsky added.
Responsible Gaming Focus
BetMGM has made responsible gaming a pillar of its business model. It’s one that follows parent company MGM Resorts’ lead.
Prior to opening MGM Springfield in Massachusetts in August 2018, MGM Resorts partnered with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) to leverage the lottery’s responsible gaming program “GameSense.” Developed in 2009 as a “player-focused responsible gaming program that encourages players to adopt behaviors and attitudes that can reduce the risk of developing gambling disorders,” GameSense kiosks are today in most MGM Resorts properties nationwide.
GameSense information centers provide educational materials on gambling to players. From learning how games operate and the odds facing the player in the house’s favor to providing gamblers with self-imposed time and spending limits, GameSense is designed to keep gambling fun.
BetMGM recently implemented the GameSense program into its online operating platform. BetMGM’s online sportsbook is operational in 15 states, plus DC and Ontario. The BetMGM iGaming online casino runs only in Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
“Investment into research around responsible gaming is key to our continued education and commitment to providing best-in-class experiences and programs, as well as to ensuring a sustainable industry,” said Richard Taylor, BetMGM’s senior responsible gaming manager. “This groundbreaking research will not only provide valuable learnings to BetMGM but will also serve as a guide for the industry and key stakeholders.”
Research Funding Underway
The ICRG often functions as a middleman between academia and the gaming industry. The responsible gaming center regularly fields funding requests from universities focused on developing better responsible gambling safeguards.
The ICRG is currently accepting grant applications for research that will help clarify the impact of gambling adverts. The submission period runs until March 1, 2023. Applicants may request up to $172,500.
The goal of this initiative is to determine the aspects of advertising that might promote risky or problematic gambling attitudes and behaviors and provide metrics for the development of advertising guidelines for gambling operators and regulators,” the request for applications reads.
Possible research probes, the ICRG says, could include “controlled experiments assessing the physiological, cognitive, emotional and/or behavioral effect of different types of messages, including messaging promoting gambling availability, messaging promoting less risky gambling, and messages warning of harm.”
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