Cross-border cooperation

While we poker players like to complain that online poker rooms only care about their profits and not the players, in reality, most responsible online gambling outfits understand that the better they are when it comes to responsible gambling and player protection, the more comfortable players will be patronizing their sites, thus boosting their business. To that end, BetMGM, the US-based joint venture between GVC Holdings (soon to rebrand to Entain) and MGM Resorts International, announced on Tuesday that it is integrating a responsible gambling tool called PlayPause into its gaming apps.

PlayPause is from Conscious Gaming, a philanthropic, non-profit organization founded by gaming technology provider, GeoComply. PlayPause is a fairly simple concept, but for whatever reason, nothing like it has been implemented in the United States until now (or sometime soon).

Currently, states that have legalized online gambling – whether it be sports betting, online casino games, online poker, or some combination thereof – all have their own self-exclusion lists. A player can put themselves on a list to prevent themselves from being able to play in one state, but can usually travel to another state and play there. PlayPause effectively turns a state-by-state situation in a national self-exclusion list.

Now the player that is on the New Jersey self-exclusion list won’t be able to stroll over to Pennsylvania and gamble, at least on a BetMGM app right now. And the nice thing is that operators will not have to overall their systems to implement PlayPause, as it is part of GeoComply. I am greatly over-simplifying things, but essentially they have to just turn it on.

And it appears that PlayPause can block a player from both a) creating an account in one state if they are on a self-exclusion list in another and b) logging into an existing account in one state if they are self-excluded in another.

It really is a technological solution that should have been in place from the get-go. Just let the states and operators share self-exclusion lists.

Responsible gaming important to success

“We believe the most responsible operator will be the most successful operator,” said Shay Segev, CEO of GVC Holdings, “and PlayPause’s innovative, multi-state approach to responsible gaming in the U.S. aligns with our firm commitment to providing our customers with the safest and most enjoyable experience possible.”

As GVC puts it, PlayPause “streamlines the administrative burden” on the gaming operators, as it automates the process. Updates to the lists can be made very easily through batch file downloads or by use of a public API.

“To have such a high profile, responsible and fast-growing operator on board from the start is a fantastic endorsement for the PlayPause initiative,” said Anna Sainsbury, Conscious Gaming trustee and GeoComply chairman and co-founder. “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.”

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