September 13, 2023 3 min read


AGA Reveals High Awareness, Low Engagement in Responsible Gambling

In recent days, the American Gaming Association (AGA) has unveiled statistics indicating that a substantial majority of sports bettors and gamblers are well-informed about responsible gambling tools

However, a closer examination reveals that this awareness is not translating into widespread engagement with these tools, posing a significant challenge to industry stakeholders.

DeBaun Shares Insights on Elevating Responsible Gaming

Cait DeBaun, the AGA’s vice president for strategic communications and responsibility, shared these findings during an iGB-sponsored webinar titled “Elevating responsible gaming: How the industry can sharpen its player protection capabilities.” DeBaun stated that the research they conducted indicated that gamblers perceive the messaging as effective but are not actively engaging with the tools.

Operators, regulators, suppliers, and vendors have been actively involved in promoting responsible gambling over the past five years. Initiatives such as the AGA’s “Have a Game Plan” campaign and updates to its Responsible Gaming Code of Conduct have aimed to integrate these tools seamlessly into the gambling experience. However, the challenge lies in making them effective, unobtrusive, and appealing to players.

To make responsible gambling more attractive, the industry has increasingly turned to celebrity endorsements. Notable figures like the Manning family, Rob Gronkowski, and Tony Hawk have been enlisted to lend their credibility to the cause. 

However, the use of celebrities in advertising for gambling has faced regulatory scrutiny. In Ontario, proposed rule amendments would ban the use of celebrities in advertising except for responsible gambling purposes, while Massachusetts grappled with the idea of a complete ban on celebrity advertising in wagering. A bill in Congress also seeks to ban sports wagering advertising entirely.

Cait DeBaun Highlights the Need to Normalize Responsible Gambling Choices

The iGB webinar participants acknowledged the need for ongoing innovation in responsible gambling initiatives. Richard L. Taylor, senior manager of responsible gaming at BetMGM, stressed the importance of customer literacy, emphasizing the need for players to understand and use available tools effectively.

One notable tool, GameSense, has been deployed in various North American markets, offering players the ability to set limits, understand game mechanics, and receive notifications to take breaks. 

As the AGA designates September as Responsible Gaming Education Month, some sportsbooks have introduced interactive quizzes and games to raise awareness. DraftKings, for instance, offers a free-play quiz about responsible gambling with cash prizes, while PENN Entertainment has incorporated responsible gambling knowledge tests into its offerings.

Despite these efforts, the challenge remains: how to shift the narrative around responsible gambling from prevention to enhancement.

Advocates argue that emphasizing the positive aspects of responsible gambling, such as enhancing the overall gaming experience, could be more effective than framing it solely as a deterrent. Cait DeBaun emphasized the necessity of normalizing responsible gambling by stating that attending a sporting event provides choices like purchasing a drink or placing a bet.


Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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