Guide to Responsible Gambling, Non-Profits, and Initiatives
October 11, 2022
A True Addiction that Needs Support
The expansion of legal gaming in the United States (U.S) has demonstrated the centrality of responsible gaming to a regulated market. By legalizing gaming, regulators and operators are shifting consumers away from illegal gaming sites with no RG protections, offering customers the tools they need to play responsibly, and giving states tax revenue to reinvest in RG programs and other social causes.
As the U.S. industry lacks a federal agency dedicated to addressing problem gambling, a collaborative approach is taken to protect consumers – by each state, sovereign tribal nation, operator, supplier, and nonprofit.
Technical advancements have enabled operators to identify potentially problematic behavior at an earlier stage. This allows them to communicate with players; alerting them to potentially harmful behaviors, making them aware of RG tools, and ultimately, offering access to support services if necessary.
As the U.S industry continues to expand, industry stakeholders must come together to cohesively plan how we can best serve players through technology, self-help resources, and in-person services. Driving significant awareness and policy considerations around responsible gaming has never been more important.
This guide provides an overview of organizations and initiatives advancing consumer protection in the U.S. gaming industry. By shining a light on these organizations we aim to help patrons play responsibly and support those who may require guidance with the resources they need. Below we have profiled a list of leading organizations rising to the challenge of problem gambling. Each organization has been thoughtfully evaluated to highlight valuable programs that provide maximum impact.
Key Responsible Gambling Suppliers
Who you should get to know and what they have to offer?
Below we have profiled a list of leading organizations rising to the challenge of problem gambling. Each organization has been thoughtfully evaluated to highlight valuable programs that provide maximum impact.
With a membership that represents every corner of the gaming industry, the AGA articulates the value of the modern gaming industry and promotes its interests at both the federal and state level. The AGA and its members are focused on creating a regulatory framework that promotes responsibility while elevating innovation in a modernized system. Ensuring services are accessible and keep pace with a rapidly growing and on-demand gaming industry is paramount for the AGA.
Historically the AGA works to amplify and support policies that promote industry reinvestment, innovation, and the importance of responsible gaming. From shaping policy to engaging federal/state decision-makers, to educating key stakeholders on original gaming research—their emphasis remains steadfast on prevention and responsible gaming.
With 31 states, DC, and Puerto Rico now offering legal sports betting, the AGA’s Have a Game Plan campaign has never been more important. Launched in late 2019, Have A Game Plan is a first-of-its-kind public service campaign to educate new and seasoned sports bettors about responsible sports wagering. Bringing together prominent organizations across the gaming and sports industries, Have a Game Plan serves as a safe betting resource hub offering information on how to set a budget, understand the odds and more.
The AGA strives to work collaboratively to achieve sound policies and smart regulations that promote innovation in gaming that is consistent with gaming’s modern appeal and vast economic contributions but values and prioritizes responsible gambling and consumer protections.
• Experience at the state and federal levels in achieving sound policies and smart regulations that promote innovation and are consistent with gaming’s vast economic contributions.
• Most notably, and recently, the NCPG and AGA worked together to help reduce the number of helplines being promoted around the country to create standards, ease barriers of entry for consumers and funnel help to operators who promote how to get help easily.
• Regularly partner with state problem gambling advocates helping streamline processes and incorporate consumer protections into statutes and regulations.
• Working with sports leagues, teams and sportsbook operators, the AGA offers ‘Have A Game Plan’—providing tools and resources to game responsibly in an effort to advance responsible sports wagering.
• Created the ‘Marketing Code’ a set of industry standards for traditional/digital marketing and advertising of sports wagering—ensuring consumer protections are holistically applied to real-money sports wagering services.
• Deliver original research and education to provide unique insights into gaming’s impact and elevate gaming’s voice on core issues. Actively promote transparency and gaming literacy to customers and community partner databases, without the need to share any personally identifiable information.
EPIC combines first-hand lived experience with accredited and independent research to take the problem out of gambling— saving lives through harm prevention programs, strategic advisory, and training. EPIC has successfully launched large-scale programs across the highest risk sectors; education
(14+), elite sport, community sport, armed forces, criminal justice, and gambling brands. EPIC continues to welcome sports teams’ newest members to gaming entities and as a result, is best positioned to bring together leading professionals in elite sports to tackle issues of sports betting and gambling addiction.
EPIC recently announced a collaboration with the NCAA, educating student athletes about the dangers of gambling addiction and how students can help themselves and others if they were to develop a problem.
“This program is the latest action by the national office as the membership adapts to increased legalized sports wagering.” — Stan Wilcox, Executive Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at the NCAA.
• Active industry voice at the local and federal levels in both the US and the UK.
• Offer live programing to high-risk groups like athletes, financiers and the military.
• Deliver gambling harm minimization programming through the lens of lived experience.
• One of the only pro sport nine- person advisory boards, playing a significant role in minimizing gambling harm in elite sports.
• Six EPIC training modules have been accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management.
900 Cummings Center Suite 321-U Beverly, MA 01915 icrg.org | 978-338-6610 | icrg.org | 978-338-6610 | TW: @theICRG
The International Center for Responsible Gaming (ICRG) is an organization focused on researching gambling disorder. Since its founding in 1996, the ICRG has launched a field of study to explore gambling disorder and responsible gambling and has funded some of the most important research in the US and around the world.
Over the years, the ICRG has provided independent, peer-reviewed scientific research that helps increase the understanding of gambling disorder and find effective methods of treatment. The ICRG is inspired by the mission to help individuals and families affected by gambling disorder through first-class research and evidence-based education programs.
Research will continue to lead us and others to provide effective prevention and treatment of gambling disorder. Our work is impacting public policy, strengthening responsible gaming, and improving the health and well-being of the people and communities affected by the continued growth of the industry.
Over the years, nearly $40 million has been committed to the ICRG, through contributions from the gaming industry, related individuals, and organizations.
Lastly, every year the ICRG conducts a Conference on Gambling and Addiction, which is the preeminent annual forum on gambling disorder and responsible gambling. Healthcare providers, researchers, public health professionals, gaming regulators and gaming industry professionals convene in Las Vegas to learn about the latest research on gambling disorder and new responsible gambling strategies while exchanging ideas with attendees from all over the world. “The fact is, we know very little about sports betting and its potential for increasing gambling disorders. Most of the published, peer- reviewed research has focused on European populations. That is why the International Center for Responsible Gaming is the preeminentworldwide organization dedicated to understanding gambling addiction.” —Christine Reilly, Senior Research Director, ICRG
• Have a diverse group of donors who commit large sums of money toward problem gambling research initiatives.
• Vital resource about what research is and isn’t available around this issue and how to apply it to what exists into policies and procedures.
• Created the Discovery Project, a leading online resource for research-based facts.
• Competitive research grant program for peer-reviewed investigations of gambling disorders and youth gambling that could benefit your state
Note: The Association of Problem Gambling Service Administrators (APGSA) has changed its name and is now NAADGS.
NAADGS, is a non-profit organization whose memberships consists of the state problem gambling service administrators. These are often individuals whom either directly over see programs on the ground for problem gambling or manage the problem gambling contracts within the state. This entity tirelessly works to develop, enhance, and support partnerships with stakeholders in the problem gambling field to continue to raise awareness, educate, and mitigate the potential impact or related harm of gambling.
Central to its mission, NAADGS conducts the only national survey of problem gambling services in the US providing information on funding, types of services, administrative structures, state profiles, and state contacts. The next version of the survey is due to be unveiled in May of 2022.
• Conducts the only national survey of problem gambling services in the U.S. providing information on funding, types of services, administrative structures, state profiles, and state contacts.
• Advocates for every person in the U.S., its territories, and freely associated states to ensure access to problem gambling services.
• Collaborates with health systems often to review standards of care and preventative services.
• Promotes evidence-based practices and professional development of its members.
Providing national guidance for over 50 years, NCPG serves as an advocate for programs and services to assist people and their families affected by the devastating effects of problem gambling.
The organization exists to improve health and wellness by reducing the personal, social, and economic costs of problem gambling.
NCPG has 35 affiliate organizations throughout the nation and concentrates efforts on the national level, while the state affiliates work at the state and local levels. The NCPG runs the only 24/7/365 confidential problem gambling helpline and is currently aggressively advocating to consolidate the number of state specific helplines, there are currently 25, down into one national number. Most notably they advise policymakers on best practices in developing comprehensive policies and procedures that develop and incorporate the latest developments in problem gambling research, prevention, treatment, recovery, education, awareness, self-exclusion, responsible gambling tools and more into the state gambling ecosystem. They are the conduit of thought leadership and knowledge within the space of problem gambling.
“The trends we are seeing around sports gambling and problematic play are very concerning. Too many people still don’t recognize they are exhibiting signs of this addictive behavior and are unaware of the help that is available to them. Every organization that provides gambling opportunities has a responsibility to develop policies and programs to promote responsible gambling and address problem gambling.” —Keith Whyte, Executive Director of NCPG
• Neutral position on legalized gambling.
• Embraces collaboration between a broad range of organizations.
• Maintains a large network of relationships with regulators, operators, public health officials, and policymakers.
• Widely viewed as an industry authority and credible source on problem gambling.
• Decades of experience working with federal and state agencies.
• Multiple high-value grants awarded annually for gambling prevention initiatives.
• Dedicated free helpline available 24/7; 100%confidential; text and chat offered.
RG24seven is the industry’s only compliance-grade virtual responsible gaming and casino training platform. Described as short, sharp, and easy to digest, their employee training for regulators and operators provides real-time reporting and proactive approaches to responsible gaming and casino education. RG24seven aims to assist regulators in developing standards and best practices to help alleviate some of the gaps in education that currently exist among operators across the nation.
Not only are industry regulators mandating that operators provide annual training (or more) to all employees, but the training has to be compliant grade that is both affordable and accessible. Compliance training that is affordable and accessible is imperative in protecting and strengthening the market. Employee training is also crucial for operators to avoid costly penalties for failing to comply with regulations (e.g., Title 31) and makes operators less vulnerable to being used for criminal activities.
• Turnkey online training that provides the most current information on responsible gaming and everything associated with land-based or online casino operations.
• Full-suite compliance training programs available from tribal gaming to anti-money laundering to sports betting.
• Employee training modules available on-demand.
• Leading American anthropologist and professor at San Diego State University has reviewed and created many of the RG24seven trainings.
• Offer a 40-minute webinar series in collaboration with the National Indian Gaming Association regularly.
• Recently launched ‘Operation Responsible Gambling’ in coordination with NCPG and Entain Foundation US—a responsible gambling training program specially designed for military members.
• Proven to improve employee performance and morale.
• A safety net against potential violations and reinforces corporate social responsibility.
For over 35 years RGC has worked to put safeguards and support in place for those who gamble. RGC aims to promote safer gambling in communities around the world, helping industry stakeholders mitigate risk and minimize harms and uncovering new insights about gambling and its impact on people, businesses, and communities. Whether you’re looking for ways to keep gambling fun, a regulator who is committed to establishing responsible gambling standards, a gambling operator or equipment manufacturer who wants industry guidance on your organization’s responsible gambling program or are interested in exploring the latest in gambling research—RGC is Canada’s foremost pioneers in the industry.
The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) is an independent non- profit organization dedicated to problem gambling prevention, globally. RGC advisory services and the RG Check Accreditation are world-class solutions that help to develop, measure, and evaluate responsible gambling programming.
• An Independently operated global nonprofit.
• Bring together all sides: operators, regulators, treatment facilities, community agencies and the public.
• RGC advisory services and the RG Check Accreditation are world-class solutions that help to develop, measure and evaluate responsible gambling programming.
• Credible resource that believes gambling should never come at a human cost.
For more than 25 years, UNLV International Gaming Institute (IGI) has provided research-based solutions, cutting-edge insights, and executive education to the gaming industry. Described as the “global intellectual capital of gaming” by former Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and “The Harvard
of Gaming” by Global Gaming Business, IGI houses several Responsible Gaming initiatives, the Center for Gaming Innovation, the International Center for Gaming Regulation, and the Expanding the Leaderverse initiative. Each of these addresses a vital need in the global gaming industry, for which the IGI serves as an answer center populated by an internationally recognized dream team of contributors.
UNLV International Gaming Institute has an active research agenda in our position as an academic neutral space to effect positive change in the rapidly globalizing world of gambling. Over the years, this research has been presented to academic, industry, non-profit, and government audiences throughout the U.S. and worldwide.
“The founders of the International Gaming Institute envisioned it becoming exactly what it has become—the go-to for academic expertise on the global gaming industry.” Bo Bernhard, IGI Executive Director
IXUP is a pioneering technology company that has developed world-class software facilitating the secure sharing and analysis of sensitive information using advanced encryption technology.
IXUP owns PlayPause®, a technology designed to provide an efficient way for operators and regulators to enhance their responsible gaming programs across multiple states. Sports leagues can also use PlayPause® to manage their integrity policies – from their own databases – without the need to share any personally identifiable information.
With PlayPause®, IXUP aims to enable consumers to extend existing single-state self-exclusions to all participating PlayPause® members nationally.
“The application of IXUP’s world leading secure data collaboration technology presents a unique opportunity for IXUP to develop a suite of independent and industry wide betting compliance and integrity solutions to manage the growing social issues related to gambling and gaming worldwide. The need for these products is immediate and we are encouraged by the engagement we are currently seeing”. Julian Babarczy, Chairman, IXUP.
• Approved government supplier
• IXUP’s ISO/IEC 27001 information security management certification provides assurance of their ability to maintain the security of sensitive information and meet strict data compliance requirements.
• PlayPause provides an efficient way for operators and regulators to enhance their responsible gaming programs across multiple states
As the U.S. market expands, we are reminded of lessons learned in more mature markets.
The United Kingdom (U.K.) government introduced The Gambling Act in 2005 to bring more regulation to the online gambling industry and to protect children and vulnerable adults.
Research estimates around 0.5% of the adult population in the U.K., around 246,000 people, are likely to have some form of gambling addiction with around 2.2 million people either problem gamblers or at risk of addiction.
The U.K has seen several NGOs emerge to provide consumers with the protections they deserve. Launched in 2018, GAMSTOP provides a self-help tool for users to give themselves breathing space and seek help. People generally register with GAMSTOP when they have reached a decision that they want to stop gambling. Their aim is to ensure that practical tools, and other multi-operator self-exclusion schemes, work seamlessly together to provide people with exactly what they need when they reach for it.
“We have come a long way in the last few years and feel confident that integration with the scheme, which is currently providing many thousands of vulnerable individuals with peace of mind across a wide range of gambling websites, will soon become a license condition. This will ensure that all websites licensed by the Gambling Commission will need to integrate with GAMSTOP so that those who wish to self-exclude from online gambling have a free, simple way of doing so. This has been a focus of mine for many years, and I am delighted to be part of its development.” —Katie Reynolds-Jones, Marketing and Communications Head of GAMSTOP
GAMSTOP provides one of the plethora of tools that need to be readily accessible to consumers in a quest to mitigate risks and reduce the harms from legalized gambling. The self-exclusion scheme designed here has been a resounding success, in part due to it’s Independence from the industry, knowledge and expert staff in the area of that specialize in gambling addiction, and it’s easy accessibility (free for individuals whom reside in the U.K.). GAMSTOP registrations at the end of December 2020 were 178,047, a 53% year-over-year.
• A trusted national self-exclusion service: valued by users and actively promoted by key stakeholders.
• A free service for individuals who signup (must reside in the UK).
• Is incredibly successful in blocking access to gambling products, a crucial component in helping individuals combat problem gambling.
• Independent from the industry at large.
• GAMSTOP registrations at the end of December 2020 were 178,047, a 53% year-over-year increase.
Hosted by: National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG)
Location: Changes yearly
Now in its 36th year, this conference is the oldest and largest annual national conference that brings together people from all facets of healthcare, research, government and the many segments of the gambling industry. With top-notch national and international experts as speakers, as well as those who work on local and state levels, the conference is a unique resource for everyone who works in these fields, as well as those in recovery and concerned others. The conference provides both detailed in-depth knowledge and cross-training opportunities.
Now more than ever, it is critical that we all work together to learn about new methods for prevention, treatment and responsible gambling as well as basics and continuing developments in the field.
Who should attend: Executive Directors and responsible gambling staff would benefit from attending the entire conference. Other information: Many of the 35 NCPG affiliate members host their own state/regionally specific conferences. We encourage all regulators to check in with their local problem gambling council and seek out helpful state centric conferences.
Hosted by: The International Center for Responsible Gaming
Location: Las Vegas, NV
About: The International Center for Responsible Gaming (ICRG) is pleased to present, now in its 22nd year, the ICRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction, the preeminent annual forum on gambling disorder and responsible gambling. Healthcare providers, researchers, public health professionals, gaming regulators and gaming industry professionals convene in Las Vegas to learn about the latest research on gambling disorder and new responsible gambling strategies while exchanging ideas with attendees from all over the world. Featuring one of the most diverse audiences of all gambling conferences, the ICRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction strives to meet the varied needs and interests of all attendees by offering the following: talks by the leading innovators in the field of addiction and gambling disorder, a special track designed to help regulators and the gaming industry develop safe and effective responsible gambling programs and regulations and much more.
Who should attend: Responsible gambling staff and executive directors looking to address this issue would benefit from attending the entire conference.
We’re here to help!
Player welfare is essential. We are committed to advancing responsible gaming initiatives. GeoComply works with industry regulators, operators, and other stakeholders to ensure customers play responsibly and to support those who may require help with the resources they need.
Many players don’t know all the protections and safeguards betting on a legal site provides, nor do they always recognize the difference. That’s why we promote consumer education on the gambling risks associated with betting on illegal websites through BettorSafe.org.
Please reach out to us should you have any questions or be interested in further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
“This is not just about how we can benefit but what is sustainable for the long-term health of the industry.” – Anna Sainsbury, Co-Founder and CEO, GeoComply
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Founded in 2011, GeoComply provides fraud prevention and cybersecurity solutions that detect location fraud and help verify a user’s true digital identity. Our award-winning products are based on the technologies developed for the highly regulated and complex U.S. online gaming and sports betting market. Beyond iGaming, GeoComply provides geolocation fraud detection solutions for streaming video broadcasters and the online banking, payments and cryptocurrency industries, building an impressive list of global customers including Amazon Prime Video, BBC, Akamai, Sightline, DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM.