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30 Jan 2020

(PRESS RELEASE) --, a licensed U.S. online gambling affiliate, has pledged to donate one percent of its earnings to the National Council on Problem Gambling in order to help minimize the harms that will likely occur through the expansion of gambling and sports betting in the U.S. Together the two organizations call on other affiliates in the legal U.S. gambling space to match BettingUSA’s leadership by joining the 1% Initiative.

“The rapid expansion of sports betting and mobile gambling has led to numerous challenges and significant opportunities for everyone involved, including affiliates. These gambling affiliates play an important role in the online gambling ecosystem, and they have the unique opportunity to take a leadership role in responsible gambling efforts in the emerging U.S. market,” said Keith Whyte, NCPG Executive Director.

“NCPG advocates for states to earmark 1% of gambling revenues to responsible gaming and problem gambling programs, and since most states fall well short of that target, we believe that it is in the best interests of the industry to contribute,”’s Steve Ruddock said. “ is proud to spearhead this initiative alongside NCPG. We call on all gambling affiliates, and anyone else involved in the industry, to join us.”

Gambling has economic benefits and it also has well-documented negative consequences. As novice and experienced bettors alike have more opportunities than ever to place bets, there is a risk that gambling problems and public concern will increase. This could lead to a backlash and subsequent restrictions on gambling operations, not unlike what is happening now in the U.K.

While most who gamble online do not have problems, those who spend significant amounts of time and money gambling online are more likely to experience gambling addiction. Research has identified several important risk factors among gamblers, and especially sports bettors, in the U.S.:
  • Adults who had bet on sports at least once in the past year are twice as likely to report problematic behaviors as other gamblers.
  • Youth already have high rates of gambling and will be increasingly exposed to advertising and promotions for sports betting as both participants and spectators at sports events.
  • Mobile wagering, allowing for instantaneous and immediate gambling, has been shown to be associated with increased gambling problems.
Additional risk factors for problem gambling and especially sports betting include:
  • opportunity for high frequency, live, and in-game “proposition” betting
  • increased advertising for betting
  • thinking that sports betting is based more on skill or knowledge than chance
  • being young and/or male
  • being a veteran and/or an athlete
Regardless of the cause and effect of specific factors like these, since online gamblers and sports bettors are known to develop problematic gambling behaviors, it is important for regulators and operators to adopt responsible gambling policies.

The graphical and interactive structure of the internet provides an opportunity to encourage players to become informed consumers, with access to a variety of information and features designed to encourage safe choices and discourage unsafe behavior. Gambling affiliates, in their unique role as providers of information and recommendations to players, can play an important role in such responsible gambling initiatives.

Gambling has expanded greatly across the US in recent years, and especially so since 2018 when each state became free to legalize sports betting. Unfortunately, problem gambling prevention and treatment services remain insufficient in most states and nonexistent in several.

NCPG has run the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network since 1985 in order to provide a crisis safety net across all states, as well as to give help and information on problem gambling for anyone seeking it. The Helpline is available 24/7 nationwide, is free for callers and is confidential. It is accessible via phone, text, and chat—so gamblers who are betting online or on mobile platforms can also seek help the same way. The Helpline is the sole national problem gambling safety net and is entirely privately funded by NCPG’s members and donors.

Responsible gambling partnerships and comprehensive problem gambling programs are important for affiliates and the general public. The lack of government funding for problem gambling programs increases the prevalence and severity of gambling problems. While responsible affiliates self-regulate, the lack of strong oversight in many states opens the door to bad actors who may tarnish the reputation of everyone.

Taking a leadership role in responsible gambling through the 1% Initiative improves public perception, reduces reputational risk, demonstrates corporate social responsibility and helps build safer and sustainable communities. Problem gambling prevention, education, treatment, research and recovery services improve public health and reduce the personal, social and economic costs of problem gambling.
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