Global iGaming giant Entain, continues to develop its environment, social, governance initiatives (ESG). The company recently held an event in London, under the name “Entain Sustain”, to showcase its efforts in the areas of responsible gambling (RG).
A panel discussion at the event — titled “Parallel Worlds? The US and European Responsible Gambling Landscapes.” – looked at responsible gambling approaches in the UK and Europe, and how they might translate to the rapidly expanding world of online gambling in the US.
During the discussion, Martin Lycka, SVP for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling at Entain, spoke about Gamble Responsibly America, Entain’s responsible gaming app, launched earlier this year in the US.
Lycka remarked on the “the breathtaking and relentless pace” of the burgeoning markets in US today, but reassured the panel: “In the United States and the Americas, Entain has embarked on a journey to help these newly based markets to achieve long-term sustainability by means of education.”
EPIC Risk Management Vice President, US Policy and Strategic Development Brianne Doura-Schawohl also addressed expansion of online gaming in the US, calling the growth “unprecedented.” She continued “Going from 2018 to current day with 34 jurisdictions, it’s been rapid to say the least.”
Doura-Schawohl expressed concerns over the lack of a cohesive plan across the US – noting large discrepancies in RG from one state to the next. “We’re seeing a very fractured approach to responsible gambling”, she said.
“There are some states that are taking this head on and ensuring that there’s proper funding and support for responsible gambling initiatives. On the other hand, there are states that have done nothing and have really relied upon the industry or community partners to fill those gaps.”
Jennifer Shatley, a research assistant at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas International Gaming Institute, reflected on the lessons gained from the experience of European initiatives:
“I think the US is fortunate in that we can learn from these more mature markets. We also in the US have the advantage of being able to have these types of conversations about social responsibility and sustainability at the outset. That gives us the opportunity to implement sports wagering and online gaming in a responsible manner.”
Alan Feldman, a Distinguished Fellow in Responsible Gaming for UNLV’s International Gaming Institute, stated that operators need to take over the language used in promotional materials. He is keenly aware of the subtle effects that certain words can have when used as enticements to gamble.
On the subject of advertisement for risk-free bets, he said, “It just scares the hell out of me because every bet is full of risk. There’s risk in every bet, of some kind, and trying to promote it that way just feels very, very shaky, that you’re going to have more fun, that the game is going to be more interesting.”
Jette Nygaard-Andersen was appointed CEO at Entain at the beginning of this year, and immediately put forward RG as an essential part of the company’s ethos. In a keynote speech in September she said, “I believe that the customer will always play with the companies that show the highest level of integrity and transparency.”