As legalized wagering continues to grow across the country, MLB is committed to ensuring that fans who choose to wager also have the tools and resources necessary to bet responsibly. With real money online sports betting becoming legal in more and more US jurisdictions, more people are placing wagers at sportsbooks than ever before. While this is a boon for both the professional leagues and betting sites, it also presents a problem for the small section of the population struggling with gambling addiction and problem gambling issues.
Sportsbooks must, therefore, carefully navigate the challenge of promoting betting as a fun activity without enticing problem gamblers to bet when they shouldn’t.
Operators and leagues alike are stepping up to the plate to promote responsible gambling, the latest of which is Major League Baseball (MLB), which has just expanded its existing relationship with the American Gaming Association (AGA) and the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG).
“As legalized wagering continues to grow across the country, MLB is committed to ensuring that fans who choose to wager also have the tools and resources necessary to bet responsibly,” said Kenny Gersh, MLB Executive Vice President, Business Development.
The latest play comes through a partnership with the AGA’s Have A Game Plan initiative. The initiative promotes a healthy relationship with gambling through advanced planning of betting activities, bankroll, wagers, etc., giving players the tools they need to help keep their gambling under control.
This new partnership with the AGA expands on an existing relationship forged in 2005. MLB was the first major sports league to join the AGA — and its new partnership with the Have a Game Plan initiative makes it a Platinum Member.
MLB understands that as legal sports betting grows, so does our collective commitment to responsibility. As part of the new partnership, MLB will use its influence and media channels to help promote the responsible gaming message for its audience. As the league goes into post-season play, the timing couldn’t be better as the playoffs draw massive sports betting volume.
“With the expertise and additional resources of the AGA and NCPG, we’ll be able to expand our responsible gaming efforts further, driving new education, awareness, and support service initiatives that will help keep sports betting safe, fun, and entertaining for all those who participate,” Gersh added as part of his statement.
As an active partner in Have a Game Plan, the MLB will run responsible gaming public service announcements through its digital and broadcast media channels. The new spots will begin immediately as the league rounds the bases into its 2022 playoff run, adding new RG messaging at precisely the time it may be needed the most.
The new initiative will also include partnership opportunities for all 30 teams in the league and various training and benchmarking within the industry to deepen league-wide knowledge about problem gaming and how to avoid it.
“Welcoming Major League Baseball as a Have A Game Plan partner is a milestone for the campaign and responsible gaming efforts nationwide,” said AGA Senior Vice President Casey Clark. “MLB understands that as legal sports betting grows, so does our collective commitment to responsibility. This partnership will have a meaningful impact, teaching fans across the country the fundamentals of responsible wagering.”
The announcement came as MLB went into its most significant games of the season and as part of the inaugural Responsible Gaming Education Month, an initiative designed to boost gaming literacy and consumer education during the busy September back-to-school period and heavy sports schedules.
As the MLB moves into the critical post-season, its new partnerships show the league is thinking about its actions off the field as well as on it. With the explosive growth in regulated sports betting over the past few years, MLB’s responsible gaming initiatives will surely be a home run.