BetMGM Enlists PlayPause To Strengthen Responsible Gambling Components In All Markets

Written By Derek Helling on November 25, 2020 - Last Updated on March 10, 2023

There are upsides to the state-by-state regulation of gambling, such as the administration of programs aimed at including minority-owned businesses. However, there are also downsides, and that’s where the PlayPause responsible gambling initiative comes in.

BetMGM and GeoComply have partnered to fill in the gaps between jurisdictions in protections for people with compulsive gambling issues. This includes the NJ online casino market.

While BetMGM is the first gambling company to do so, it hopefully won’t be the only such company for long.

What’s special about the PlayPause responsible gambling system?

One of the loopholes in self-exclusion lists is that they only operate within the borders of a particular state. That leaves some people with these issues vulnerable.

For example, a New Jersey player with a gambling issue might be on the self-exclusion list in the Garden State. However, he/she/they may not be on the list in Pennsylvania. In theory, that person could cross the state line to gamble.

GeoComply’s Conscious Gaming and PlayPause seek to address that problem. In addition to providing a national self-exclusion program for operators like BetMGM, the program will:

  • Provide data for operators so they can better protect vulnerable individuals.
  • Streamline the process of merging data from different markets.

This is of crucial importance for BetMGM. That’s because it operates in several different jurisdictions. Additionally, laws on responsible gaming can differ from one market to the next.

Some states require an enrollee to apply for removal from a list once the term of exclusion ends. In others, however, removal from the list is automatic.

In NJ, gamblers can exclude themselves for several different periods of time. States like Iowa give gamblers the choice of five years or a lifetime.

Without merging all that information into one interface, it would prove difficult to maximize protections. For a large gambling company like BetMGM, this makes that process far easier.

BetMGM’s reach puts fuel in the tank for PlayPause

Sticking with the theme of dichotomy, BetMGM’s size is also an asset. Because BetMGM has so many properties across the nation and is operating online in some of the most robust markets, PlayPause gets the benefit of that reach as well.

“A multistate approach to responsible gaming is an important step for the industry and advances consumer protection in a meaningful way. We’re delighted to play a leading role in collaborating on this important and timely initiative,” said Adam Greenblatt, CEO of BetMGM.

“Conscious Gaming is thrilled to be partnering with GVC and BetMGM to launch PlayPause,” stated Anna Sainsbury, Conscious Gaming trustee and GeoComply chair and co-founder. “To have such a high-profile, responsible and fast-growing operator on board from the start is a fantastic endorsement for the PlayPause initiative. As an industry, it’s only by working together with all stakeholders that we’ll be able to ensure players have the necessary tools to foster responsible play.”

There is no federal law that requires states’ reciprocity for self-exclusion programs. Thus, the industry taking this up on its own is commendable. Hopefully, more operators will follow BetMGM’s lead soon.

Photo by Dreamstime stock at PlayNJ
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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