Seven Major Sportsbooks Launch Responsible Online Gaming Association

ROGA’s member companies represent more than 85% of the legalized online sports betting and iGaming industry and include BetMGM, bet365, Fanatics, FanDuel, Hard Rock Digital, and PENN Entertainment. 

Mar 27, 2024 • 20:49 ET • 4 min read
BetMGM Sportsbooks
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Seven of the largest US online sports betting and gaming operators are joining forces to establish the Responsible Online Gaming Association (ROGA) to actively promote a new industry-wide responsible gaming best practices charter. 

ROGA’s member companies represent more than 85% of the legalized online sports betting and iGaming industry and include BetMGM, bet365, Fanatics, FanDuel, Hard Rock Digital, and PENN Entertainment. 

Dr. Jennifer Shatley will serve as ROGA’s full-time Executive Director and she will guide the organization through a series of initiatives regarding research, consumer and industry responsible gaming education and awareness, the promotion of responsible gaming best practices, and both an independent data clearinghouse and an independent certification program. Dr. Shatley has been a responsible gaming executive for more than 25 years, and currently serves as President of the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling, is a member of the National Council on Problem Gambling, and Co-Chairs the Compliance Review Board for the American Gaming Association’s Responsible Marketing Code for Sports Wagering. 

“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,” Dr. Shatley in a press release announcing the new trade association. 

The members have collectively pledged more than $20 million in support of ROGA’s mission in the coalition’s first year of operations.

As first reported by CNBC, this will be the first time that major gambling companies are committing to share information about customers excluded because of problem gambling. Part of ROGA’s initial work will be to create a database that will allow member companies to collaborate on consumer protection efforts and to identify players who display high-risk attributes, though the specifics on how exactly that will play out are yet to be determined. 

Problem Gambling during Problem Gambling Awareness Month

This announcement comes during a period when the industry champions its focus on consumer protection, the annual Problem Gambling Awareness Month.

Legal sports betting has been embroiled in controversy of late though. MLB superstar Shohei Ohtani is wrapped up in a gambling scandal involving his former interpreter and an illegal bookmaker. 

The NBA is investigating Toronto Raptors’ Jontay Porter for betting irregularities involving significant action on the under for his player prop bets in two games where his performance was suspicious. 

NCAA President Charlie Baker called for all states to ban college player props Wednesday as well citing a rise in sports betting issues nationwide threatening the integrity of college athletics. 

Other Responsible Gaming Initiatives

With legal sports betting growing across the United States, the gambling industry has made a concerted effort to police itself to ward off harsher regulatory frameworks or oversight from the federal government.

DraftKings just announced that it's expanding its partnership with Kindbridge to offer access to therapy and treatment for problem gaming through its platform in every state it operates in. 

Caesars is noticeably absent from ROGA, saying in a statement that “while we applaud all efforts to ensure online gaming is both operated and marketed responsibly, we are confident in our [own] Responsible Gaming approach.”

It will be interesting to see how ROGA materializes. Will it create meaningful influence, or will it remain just an eye-catching headline?

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