No one knows when online sportsbooks will launch in Michigan yet. The timeline is still fluid. When they do, BetMGM responsible gaming efforts might be the best in the state.
The online casino and sportsbook product will utilize a new tool called PlayPause through a partnership with Conscious Gaming. It gives BetMGM an edge at protecting people with compulsive gambling issues.
Why this is a big deal for BetMGM responsible gaming efforts
The Michigan Gaming Control Board administers a self-exclusion list for gambling. That may see a change in the near future in terms of giving registrants more options, but the basic premise is protecting Michiganders with gambling problems.
However, there’s a weakness of sorts to these programs. With gambling companies that operate in multiple jurisdictions such as BetMGM, it’s especially visible. For example, BetMGM operates in both Indiana and Michigan.
The Hoosier State also runs a similar program. There’s no reciprocity between the two gambling regulatory bodies, though. That means the Indiana Gaming Commission and the MGCB don’t know which persons are on the other’s list.
Someone who is on the MI disassociated persons list could cross the state line to wager on BetMGM in Indiana. A person on the self-exclusion list in IN might face the temptation to cross the border and play BetMGM’s slots online in MI.
PlayPause aims to help BetMGM limit that liability.
How PlayPause works
The product is all about consolidating and streamlining information for operators. Once implemented, BetMGM will have easy access to information about people on exclusion lists in all its markets.
That will enable BetMGM to be more a part of the solution to problem gambling. Say a person with a Michigan address is on the excluded list in Indiana but not in MI.
With this information, BetMGM will know not to mail promotional material to that address in the Wolverine State. Otherwise, it might have included that individual in its mail campaign.
Because BetMGM maintains separate customer databases for each market, this is even more crucial. The easy access to the data will greatly aid in restricting access for such people.
BetMGM leading the way in this initiative
BetMGM is the first gambling company to partner with Conscious Gaming to use PlayPause on this scale. It represents a solid commitment to doing business responsibly.
“A multi-state approach to responsible gaming is an important step for the industry and advances consumer protection in a meaningful way,” said Adam Greenblatt, CEO of BetMGM.
Those sentiments were echoed by Anna Sainsbury, a Conscious Gaming trustee and GeoComply chairman and co-founder.
“Conscious Gaming is thrilled to be partnering with GVC and BetMGM to launch PlayPause. 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.”
When BetMGM goes live in MI, it may be doing more than any other online operator in the state to combat problem gaming. Hopefully, this is the first step toward a more robust national solution.