A recently launched US responsible gambling coalition has grown by 50%. The group, which now consists of nine of the most prominent US online gambling companies, recently welcomed three new members to its founding six.
Fanatics, Hard Rock Digital, and PointsBet are the new additions. PointsBet might have to make a change to embrace the principles of the group, however.
US responsible gambling body expands its membership
According to a March 30 press release from the Entain Foundation, the coalition has welcomed Fanatics, Hard Rock Digital, and PointsBet. The Entain Foundation is the charitable extension of Entain, which is one of the original six members of the coalition.
The other five members who formed the coalition in September 2022 are:
- MGM Resorts International
The release states that the three new members were accepted for inclusion based on their past actions. Those include launching responsible gaming tools on their platforms. Also, partnering with the National Council on Problem Gambling proved their merit.
Going forward, each member will have to document how they’re complying with the group’s 12 responsible gaming principles to remain in good standing. For PointsBet, that might require an adjustment on the fly.
PointsBet faces a potentially glaring issue
When the Entain Foundation announced the coalition last September, it laid out 12 principles for the group. Among those are taking “active steps to prevent underage … individuals from participating in any form of gaming within our products.” Another is abiding “by applicable standards of socially responsible advertising.”
In Friday’s release, a spokesperson for PointsBet did not mention any objection to any of the principles. Rachel Kasper, SVP of Legal and Compliance of PointsBet US said:
“PointsBet is proud to join the Responsible Gambling Coalition to continue bolstering our commitment to this important topic. Responsible gambling is a core priority for our business and requires meaningful collaboration with all stakeholders, inclusive of operators competing within the same markets, to promote this aspect of our industry and ensure safe practices are followed.”
PointsBet maintains an active sponsorship of athletic programs at the University of Maryland. Maryland is currently considering legislation that would limit partnerships between colleges and gambling companies. However, the measure would not ban such deals if it becomes law.
PointsBet has discontinued a similar sponsorship of athletics at the University of Colorado. It might need to do the same thing in Maryland.
By making this commitment, PointsBet promised it will work to prevent people who are under the legal gambling age from accessing their products. It’s difficult to honestly make that statement while simultaneously posting marketing materials in a place where a plurality if not a majority of people who interact with them are likely to be younger than 21. In Maryland, that is the legal gambling age.
This membership might be a sign that PointsBet plans to make some changes. The other new members should similarly review all their practices. Otherwise, inclusion in this coalition will become nothing more than window dressing.