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NIGA Panel: If problem gamblers are the VIP customer, US online operators are finished

Gambling Insider was in attendance at NIGA as lobbyist Bill Pascrell III was typically outspoken during an education session titled 'Responsible gaming in the digital age.'

But Pascrell, who was a guest at last week's live GI Huddles as part of ICE London, was not talking policy here.

Instead, Pascrell was firing a warning to online operators and tribes within the US about responsible gambling – and the need for sustainable marketing practices if US states are to avoid following the same path as the UK market.

Pascrell said as part of his panel at NIGA: “No topic is more important here than responsible gambling for the future of this industry. Responsible gaming is commercially responsible. CROs will ask how does it generate revenue?

“But if you don’t value responsible gaming, you won’t be here in a year or two. We haven’t learned the lesson yet of massive marketing in the UK. We want to educate the industry so it self-regulates with therapy, technology and innovation."

A key point Pascrell went on to make is that problem gamblers have often been used as a revenue maximisation tool, rather than being provided with the help they need to stop overspending.

He continued: “You want to prevent Wild West marketing and bonuses. There are stories from the UK where operators used bonuses to keep players going when they were obviously problem gambling.

“For decades, the VIP customer was the problem gambler at casinos and on tribal lands. If we do that online, we’re finished.”


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