April 25, 2024Lauren

Buckle up and welcome back to this week's edition, where we'll be covering the latest iGaming news from the USA, including:

- Missouri residents rise up and take sports betting legalization into their own hands
- DraftKings is back at the judge's bench in another class action suit regarding bonus terms
- idPair has announced the summer launch of the USA’s first countrywide self-exclusion scheme
- And Colorado has launched a new RG awareness campaign against illegal casinos - “Play Legit. Gamble Only Where Legal”.

Missouri Residents Rise Up

A Missouri Group's (Winning for Missouri Education) petition, backed by six of the state's influential pro sports teams, has gathered more than the 180,000 verified signatures required for sports betting to appear on the state's November ballot, putting the choice to regulate in the hands of residents. 

The call to legalize online sports betting in Missouri has garnered significant support. A staggering 325,000 residents have signed the petition; polls indicate that 60% of Missourians support legalization.

There have been attempts to pass sports betting legislation through the formal process—introducing a bill to the House and then Senate—the latest of which is still in consideration (House Bill 2835). However, no significant progress has been made through these channels. 

Winning for Education has now circumvented the formal process after filing several motions with the Secretary of State to allow the matter to appear on the November ballot on the matter if enough signatures were gathered to support the motion.

Jumping straight to the public vote, which would approve a constitutional amendment allowing sports betting, makes it far more likely that Missouri will see online sports betting pass.

DraftKings Back at the Bench

In the same week that DraftKings appointed its first-ever Chief Responsible Gaming Officer—welcome Lori Kalani—the company has also been the subject of yet another court case. 

This time, the Massachusetts-born sports betting brand is in front of a judge's bench in New York, being sued in a class-action case brought by players over the use of the "risk-free" bonus language.

The case hinges on DraftKings' promotional language, representing their new player welcome bonus as a risk-free offer that would refund any lost first bet as a free bet credit. According to the case, instead of having their original amount returned, consumers received less than half, making the offer "anything but risk-free."

In December 2023, DraftKings was sued in its home state of Massachusetts for unfair and deceptive bonus terms and conditions. DraftKings is also embroiled in legal action against an ex-employee, Michael Hermalyn, who is counter-suing the company.

With so many legal troubles on the horizon and apparent issues with bonus texts and player understanding/effective communication and demonstration of the terms, we're pretty surprised it's taken them this long to take action and appoint a Chief Responsible Gambling Officer.

Countrywide Self-Exclusion Comes to the USA

Responsible gambling company idPair has announced the upcoming launch of the National Voluntary Self-Exclusion Programme (NVSEP), which will be rolled out across the US this summer, starting in New England. 

NVSEP is the first countrywide self-exclusion list for US players. It will cover online and land-based venues and integrate individual state systems already in use. The system also collates current regulatory information and public health resources from different states, making it more easily accessible.

Researchers have said that providing consumers with a single tool makes it easier for those seeking help to self-exclude. It also offers the ability to exclude across multiple jurisdictions, which hasn't been available until now. 

While responsible gambling resources and services are provided in each state, provisions are currently based on the regulatory model in place, meaning varying levels of availability and resources in different locations (aside from the National Council on Problem Gambling's 1-800-GAMBLER helpline, which launched nationwide in 2022). This and a lack of a national framework for player protection create confusion for consumers.

idPair is now providing the solution in the hope of driving player engagement. While states must still join the scheme, integration is straightforward. 

Jonathan Aiwazian, CEO of impair, said, "While current self-exclusion protections don't travel, people do, and we look forward to working with more states to use technology to provide a more comprehensive level of protection for those who need it most."

Colorado Launches New RG Campaign

More good news for responsible gambling efforts in the USA: This week, Colorado launched a new campaign titled "Play Legit. Gamble Only Where Legal."

The campaign aims to educate residents about the risks associated with using illegal gambling sites and the importance of using licensed platforms and venues.

As part of this initiative, the Division of Gaming has launched a dedicated site (playlegitco.com) where consumers can learn more and check which operators are licensed as fair gaming locations.

Colorado's Director of the Division of Gaming, Chris Schroder, said: "With many certified and legal gambling sites available, it's never worth it to put yourself in danger [...] Together, let's play by the rules and ensure that Colorado remains a safe and responsible gaming destination. By recognizing and preventing illegal gambling, we all win." 

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram