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PlayUSA Q&A With Elliott Rapaport, Founder Of Birches Health

PlayUSA sat down with Elliott Rapaport, the founder of Birches Health, to talk about the company’s initiatives and RG practices.

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Photo by ComicSans / Shutterstock
Katarina Vojvodic Avatar
3 mins read

Birches Health is a behavioral health services provider focusing on the prevention and treatment of problem gambling, gambling disorder, and related mental and behavioral health problems in the US.

The organization offers modernized solutions for responsible gambling, including online educational resources, learning modules and convenient treatment options designed and led by licensed, specialized behavioral health clinicians.

Moreover, Birches Health provides convenient, comprehensive care and resources to individuals facing challenges related to problem gambling and other behavioral addictions.

To learn more about the company’s initiatives, PlayUSA spoke to Elliott Rapaport, the founder of Birches Health.

Elliott Rapaport, Founder, Birches Health

Birches Health launched several innovative partnerships

Birches Health partnered with Sporttrade to focus on increasing public awareness of problem gambling and promoting awareness, prevention, treatment, and recovery services. As a result of the initiative, users of the Sporttrade platform have access to a catalog of customized resources and services.

Birches Health also partnered with BettorEdge, an online sports betting exchange and social platform, to help it provide RG education tools and customized problem gambling care referral pathways. BettorEdge offered a new self-assessment and dedicated learning platform built by Birches Health.

Additionally, in its app, BettorEdge featured BH’s Problem Gambling resources and care options to build awareness and ensure ease of access to treatment offerings.

Moreover, Birches Health joined forces with SaharaBets to focus on proactive engagement and education in responsible gaming. The collaboration provides SaharaBets’ customers with a modernized custom referral pathway for users facing behavioral health challenges.

As Rapaport explained:

“Birches Health is proud to work with state governments, professional leagues, teams, operators, and fantasy platforms nationally to ensure access to problem gambling treatment, as well as the latest in responsible gaming resources, education, and learning modules.

Our purpose is to ensure that access to care is available to individuals who need it – when and where they need it most.

Partnering with these organizations and companies allows broader exposure and distribution of these essential resources that we offer, and we are incredibly pleased that our partners share that vision.”

Why is it essential to have a unified responsible gambling platform and multi-state self-exclusion tools?

“Integrating treatment and resources like those in the Birches Health platform early in the user journey is crucial to providing a healthy, responsible user experience.

While not all users (and of course, a minority of individuals engaged in gambling in the US) will end up seeking out these resources, it should be a focus of operators to make them available through many apertures across their platforms.”

What are some of the best RG platforms and player protection practices in North America?

“Direct integration of treatment resources meaning actual access to licensed, specialized counselors — is crucial.

As operators continue to build out proprietary RG programs, a constant should be digital integration with specialized, comprehensive programs for care and resources like those offered by Birches Health.”

Do we know the percentage of people who gamble from more than one state?

“We can only speak from our own perspective, but we do often find that individuals who live at or near state borders may wager in multiple states simultaneously.

This often takes the form of individuals who are gambling at land-based casinos and engaging in iGaming platforms at different points in their day-to-day lives.

Data collection will become more important to both online casino and land-based operators. Birches Health currently works with operators to share insights into player utilization of RG resources and our specialized, comprehensive digital platform.”

How successful are US regulators and operators at creating a consistent standard of responsible gaming measures?

“While each regulating body has its nuances, we have been fortunate to see and support significant cross-functional conversation.

There’s a long way to go in reducing the potential for gambling harm, but we feel significant strides can be made through conscientious dialogue and respectful communication.”

Katarina Vojvodic Avatar
Written by

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for PlayCanada.com. Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

View all posts by Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for PlayCanada.com. Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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