Responsible Online Gaming Association Founded by iGaming, Sportsbook Leaders

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A trade organization committed to strengthening protections to combat problem gambling online has been formed by several industry leaders.

Seven leading interactive gaming firms have founded the Responsible Online Gaming Association. The trade group will work to improve internet gambling safeguards to foster safer, more sustainable play. (Image: Responsible Online Gaming Association)

Officials with the Responsible Online Gaming Association (ROGA) told on Wednesday that its founding members include BetMGM, bet365, DraftKings, Fanatics, FanDuel, Hard Rock Digital, and Penn Entertainment. The seven iGaming and sports betting firms have committed an initial pledge of $20 million to “promote responsible online gaming” by supporting independent research, fostering best practices, and driving consumer education and awareness.

Dr. Jennifer Shatley has been appointed to the role of full-time executive director of ROGA. Shatley has over 25 years of experience in the gaming industry with a focus on responsible play. Her resume includes over 13 years at Caesars Entertainment where she served as the company’s vice president of responsible gaming polices and a nearly four-year stint leading the UNLV International Gaming Institute’s Responsible Gaming unit.

“I am humbled, honored, and excited to be selected to lead ROGA during this important period of growth in legalized mobile gaming,” said Shatley. “Together, our members will work alongside researchers, experts, regulators, and stakeholders to promote responsible online gaming and maximize our efforts to support additional responsible gaming education and awareness.”

Among the organization’s initial focus is the creation of a database that will facilitate the sharing of problem gambling data to allow for better developments to aid afflicted players. 

Problem Gambling Month

The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), a DC-based nonprofit that doesn’t advocate for or against gambling, but is instead committed to assisting bettors who can’t keep their gambling in check, calls March Problem Gambling Awareness Month. Many casino companies and iGaming firms this month have announced financial commitments and initiatives to responsible gaming programs.

ROGA is yet another announcement, though the seven firms involved say the association is the first of its kind to focus solely on internet gambling.

By coming together with a clear set of objectives, ROGA and our members will work to enhance consumer protections and help provide easier and more efficient access to responsible gaming tools for consumers to enjoy the entertainment of online gaming,” Shatley said.

Along with the problem gambling database, ROGA’s release on its formation revealed the organization will serve as a vehicle to drive consumer and industry education, and encourage responsible advertising and marketing practices within the industry. ROGA will also advocate for and fund independent research into gaming-related issues, including the effectiveness of current responsible gaming protocols and how responsible gaming impacts sustainable play.  

Prop Bets

One area the NCAA would like the sports betting industry to limit is the wagering on a student-athlete’s performance. NCAA President Charlie Baker doubled down Wednesday on the organization’s stance of opposing college player props.

Sports betting issues are on the rise across the country with prop bets continuing to threaten the integrity of competition and leading to student-athletes getting harassed,” Baker said in a statement posted on social media. “The NCAA has been working with states to deal with these threats and many are responding by banning college prop bets.”

Ohio and Maryland recently amended their sports betting rules to prohibit such wagers. Most legal sports betting states ban props on college players, though exceptions remain like season-long awards.

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