As mobile sports betting and iGaming become more popular, the companies behind them are finding new ways to increase player safety.
Placing a sports bet or joining an online casino game has never been easier. The evolution of smartphones and mobile app technologies allows you to place bets and play games from any location, even the comfort of your own home.
Currently, mobile sports betting is legal in 25 states and the District of Columbia, while iGaming is available in six states. The numbers will grow as several states have legislation pending on mobile sports betting and iGaming.
As mobile betting grows, problem gambling becomes a significant concern for government officials, healthcare professionals, gaming operators, communities and other stakeholders.
Operators are aware of the need to be proactive and are investing in innovative technologies to reach out to players who exhibit signs of problem gambling. Investment in new technologies is critical to the long-term health of the industry, where further expansion via more states and products rests on operators' actions in this area.
Developing common standards to identify and manage players who are exhibiting risky behavior has been shown to have no negative outcomes for non-problem gamblers while creating trust with consumers who value brands that elevate player safety, and it helps to create distance between regulated and offshore entities.
For gaming operators, a larger user base and adoption comes with greater accountability. As a result, growing revenue streams attract scrutiny, and public sentiment toward the industry will quickly deteriorate as it has in other global markets if they do not see action. Letting risky behaviors go unchecked will invite considerable costs to gaming operators in the form of negative brand equity, stricter regulations and increased friction in the player experience.
Responsible gaming programs are a good start, but placing too much of the onus on the player to gamble safely will not be enough to assure lawmakers and the public that the industry is being proactive.
With innovative technologies like artificial intelligence, operators have access to more data, allowing them to engage players and alert them to the potential signs of problem gambling.