The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) named Michigan as one of four US markets that is falling short of its minimum responsible gambling standards.
In a report released by the NCPG, it compared its Internet Responsible Gambling Standards against the online gambling regulations in all seven states where it is legal in the United States.
Michigan placed fourth of the seven states.
What did the NCPG responsible gambling report evaluate?
The report from the NCPG looked at 59 key points of responsible gambling measures. All fit under one of nine criteria.
- Staff training
- Supporting informed decision-making by players
- Assisting players
- Advertising and promotion
- Game and website features
Of the 59 points, Michigan was judged to have “expressly covered” 36 of them. That placed it fourth of the seven states.
- Connecticut: 46
- New Jersey: 46
- Pennsylvania: 46
- Michigan: 36
- West Virginia: 30
- Delaware: 29
- Nevada: 28
“The most ethical and cost-effective response to gambling addiction issues raised by internet gambling is a comprehensive public health strategy that includes prevention, education, treatment and research services. Responsible gambling standards are an important aspect of this approach,” the NCPG said in a statement. “NCPG recommends every state with iGaming or those looking to legalize iGaming adopt the IRGS standards to best protect consumers from the negative consequences of gambling.”
The Michigan Gaming Control Board declined to comment on the NCPG report.
Where Michigan graded well for Responsible Gambling
In compiling the report, the NCPG states it only used information made publicly available by each state’s jurisdiction and regulatory agency. Their report doesn’t reflect any additional regulatory requirements or guidelines that may be included in non-public documents.
It also acknowledges the likelihood that some operators’ responsible gambling programs may exceed what is expressly required by statute and regulation in each jurisdiction.
So, if the information they were seeking wasn’t readily and publicly available, it would be a mark against the state, even if there were non-public requirements in place.
In the NCPG report, Michigan responsible gambling efforts received their highest marks in two areas.
- Self-exclusion: 7 of 9 criteria met, tied for most of any state
- Supporting informed decision-making by players: 12 of 16 criteria met
In both cases, the unchecked markings simply read “not expressly covered.”
Under the category of self-exclusion, which is when a player requests to be supported to stop gambling, Michigan was deemed to have expressly covered:
- Self-exclusion availability
- Self-exclusion policy
- Exclusion length
- Communication with players excluded
- Conditions of exclusion
- Enforcement of exclusion
- Reinstatement from exclusion
The MGCB has an application on its website that allows bettors to self-exclude, and explains in depth what that entails for them.
Supporting informed decision-making
While this section had more options, Michigan covered most of the criteria.
The main focus of this section was:
- Providing players with safer gambling information: This included topics like limits, how games work, underage playing prevention, risks associated with gambling, and more.
- Access to personal responsible gambling data
- Limit setting: This included being able to set deposit limits, time limits and how to block certain games.
- Time out
- Prohibition on reverse withdrawals
Michigan online casinos all have sections on responsible gambling, which explain options to customers, and also allows them to take steps on their own. That includes setting time or monetary limits on betting, taking a timeout and other measures.
Where Michigan graded poorly for Responsible Gambling
Similarly, Michigan received poor markings in four areas due to not expressly covering their procedures.
- Policy: 2 of 4 criteria met. Lacking in strategy for responsible gambling, as well as annual evaluation and progress reporting.
- Staff Training: 0 of 2 criteria met. Lacking in information on corporate policy and annual training in regard to responsible gambling.
- Advertising and promotion: 1 of 4 criteria met. Michigan didn’t get a passing mark over operators having to clearly articulate a commitment to responsible advertising. Also, operators not advertising their product on responsible gambling pages, as well as advertising not being misleading about game outcome or misrepresenting game odds.
- Research: 0 of 2 criteria met. Only two states met the criteria for transparency of play data for research, as well as evaluation through research programs.