More organizations are expressing their opinion aiming to keep funds from DC sports betting devoted to problem gambling programs. The American Gaming Association (AGA) and Sports Betting Alliance (SBA) are a couple of organizations being vocal.
It all comes from DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s decision to eliminate funding for problem gambling services. In her fiscal 2024 budget proposal, Bowser suggested stripping the $200,000 set aside annually for a PG fund for use elsewhere.
As the LSR reports, the District has collected $600,000 from sports betting taxes. But it hasn’t used it to support problem gambling programs.
DC sports betting operators association submits testimony to health committee
The SBA submitted testimony to the Council of the District of Columbia’s Committee on Health. During the city’s fiscal 2024 Budget Oversight hearings, the SBA said DC should reconsider how it is using its sports betting taxes.
Jeremy Kudon of the SBA wrote a letter to DC’s Committee on Health to provide its support for problem gambling funds in the District. The SBA stated:
“Legal and regulated sports betting operators provide tools and resources to help players manage their gaming habits and prevent problem gaming, including self-limits on the amount of time spent on the platform, caps on account deposit and betting amounts, and exclusion all together from the app.
In addition, legal and regulated sports betting operators have dedicated Player Protection teams to support the monitoring of user accounts for potential problem gaming behavior and language.
And above all, consumers are provided substantial responsible gaming resources and messaging directly through the app. These internal protections are most effective when complemented by a publicly- administered problem gaming treatment and prevention program.”
The SBA is an association of sportsbook operators including three of the top sportsbooks in DC, BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel. The lobbying group advocates on behalf of its members for consumer protections to guarantee sports betting remains safe and secure.
AGA to ensure that DC provides problem gambling resources
AGA’s Senior VP, Chris Cylke, released a statement addressing the worry regarding DC’s stripping problem gambling funds:
“Unfortunately, this is only the latest misstep by the DC Government in their effort to offer a viable legal sports betting market. The AGA will work with other stakeholders to ensure the District makes good on their obligation to provide problem gambling resources, as well as continue to highlight the need for a competitive mobile marketplace that will increase revenue to fund these important commitments.”
DC is not the only market with problem gambling fund issues
In 2020, the Responsible Gambling Collaborative issued a report showing several states not correctly using funds allocated for problem gambling issues.
Out of 14 states studied, the following four states did not spend the assigned tax money assigned on responsible gambling issues: