Responsible Gaming Efforts Keeping Pace with Changing Industry

MGM Resorts’ efforts to identify and protect problem gamblers includes a game-changing program, GameSense. Stephen Martino (l.), the company’s chief compliance officer, believes if gambling isn’t fun, people should avoid it.

Responsible Gaming Efforts Keeping Pace with Changing Industry

Football season is underway, and, once again, we are seeing a sports betting blitz. Last year, an estimated 47 million Americans placed bets during the 2022 NFL season with $16 billion wagered on Super Bowl LVI alone. And as states embrace legalized sports betting, those wagers are occurring more safely and responsibly than ever before.

Sports betting is legal in 34 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, giving more consumers access to reputable companies who must maintain high regulatory standards. Yet as operators like MGM Resorts work to build a competitive market for this new offering, the proliferation of ads, apps and promotions raise important questions about responsibility.

We welcome those questions because there’s good news to share.

The legal sports betting market is winning. Legal, regulated sports betting has created a massive—and fast—shift in consumer behavior. Americans are abandoning illegal bookies and bad actors in favor of regulated companies and trusted brands.

As sports betting grows, regulated companies have shared interest in combating problem gambling. MGM Resorts is the largest operator and employer on the Las Vegas Strip, and we are among the most recognized names in gaming entertainment. We—along with our industry peers—take our commitment to consumer safety seriously. Across the industry, gaming entertainment companies live this commitment differently, and while responsible gaming programs and investments may vary company to company, they are united by an enduring commitment to do right by our guests.

This commitment comes to life at MGM Resorts in various ways.

GameSense is an industry-leading program that promotes positive conversations about responsible gaming to help guests make informed decisions. The program has been deployed across all MGM Resorts properties nationwide since 2017. Earlier this year, we renewed our contract with GameSense, which is licensed from the British Columbia Lottery Corporation.

As sports betting has exploded, we expanded the impact of GameSense even further by extending the platform onto BetMGM and certifying over 1,100 GameSense Advisors and Ambassadors in MGM Resorts locations across the country. This is in addition to training all of our employees on how to engage with guests about responsible gaming and questions they have about healthy play. GameSense serves as the backbone of our conversations with guests and within training for our employees.

As new gaming experiences emerge, we are focused on applying what works from GameSense and other initiatives to digital platforms—ensuring interventions occur before a problem starts, promoting frequent breaks and encouraging time and budget limits.

MGM Resorts has supported responsible gaming research and programs for well over two decades. We partner with the International Center for Responsible Gaming (ICRG) to fund scientifically sound, peer-reviewed research to better understand problem gambling and which tactics make a difference in encouraging healthy play. MGM Resorts has also collaborated with organizations such as the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the Responsible Gambling Council. We contribute and support these efforts because research, education and awareness are critical to the development of our responsible gaming programs and others throughout the industry. This collaboration commitment also extends to the American Gaming Association and our partnership with the Have A Game Plan. ® Bet Responsibly.™ campaign, which aims to promote responsible sports betting.

Our programs are designed to support all of our guests by providing information, resources and positive reinforcement. We also remind everyone that if gambling isn’t fun, then they shouldn’t do it.

MGM Resorts continues to prioritize responsible gaming awareness throughout the company and our properties. Investments in training, player engagement and research are woven into the fabric of our guest service model and culture. It’s not just right for business, it’s the right thing to do.


Articles by Author: Stephen Martino

Stephen Martino is SVP and Chief Compliance Officer of MGM Resorts International, the largest gaming entertainment company in the United States.