Just days before the March 10 launch of online Massachusetts sports betting, Caesars Entertainment is adjusting and bolstering its responsible gaming programs, the company announced Thursday.
Caesars has expanded its self-exclusion program to cover its gaming portfolio, including casinos. Customers who feel they may have a gambling problem will now be able to place themselves on an exclusion list and have it apply to Caesars Sportsbook (retail or online) and Caesars Casino (retail or online).
The company also announced that its popular Caesars Rewards program will be limited to those 21 and over.
Also, depending on applicable jurisdictional law, Caesars announced that it would prohibit gaming, pari-mutuel, sports betting and online casino options to those 21 and over.
Caesars Entertainment owns and operates more than 50 casinos or casino resorts. It also owns the Caesars Sportsbook app, one of the most popular mobile sports betting apps in the US. The Caesars Sportsbook MA app will launch March 10.
Significance of when Caesars made this announcement
This announcement coincides with March being National Problem Gambling Awareness Month. But it’s also significant because it comes just more than a week before Caesars Sportsbook goes live in Massachusetts — a state that’s developed a reputation as a leader in the responsible gambling space.
BetMGM, which will launch its BetMGM MA Sportsbook app on March 10, promotes responsible gaming in its March ads.
It’s believed that Caesars is the first US-based sports betting app and gaming company to take proactive steps to restrict sports betting and gaming to patrons at least 21 years old. Many states have that age as a restriction, but a few jurisdictions allow pari-mutuel betting and other gaming activity for people under 21. Montana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Washington have set a limit of 18 and over.
“As the largest gaming company in North America, we have a special responsibility to ensure that everything we do is built on a solid foundation of Responsible Gaming,” Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg said in a press release. “We take that responsibility very seriously, and these new policies reflect that commitment.”
What is universal self-exclusion?
Under its new “universal self-exclusion” program, Caesars can restrict a consumer in one step. Once the program is fully implemented by the end of March, when a customer comes to Caesars and explains they have a gambling problem, that individual can be excluded across nearly all of the Caesars-owned and operated gaming platforms and facilities in one step.
The universal self-exclusion program will extend to Caesars Sportsbook, all Caesars iGaming platforms and each of the company’s brick-and-mortar locations.
Those consumers who are already on a state-sponsored self-exclusion list where Caesars operates will be added to the Caesars universal exclusion list before the end of March.
“The implementation of this new policy was challenging, but our goal was to bring a more comprehensive exclusion option to our players to ensure everyone that plays with us, does so responsibly,” said Jeffrey Hendricks, Sr. Vice-President & Assistant General Counsel, Regulatory & Compliance for Caesars Entertainment.
The company also announced other responsible gaming initiatives:
- Caesars has extended its responsible gambling training program to its ambassadors at Caesars-owned properties. Previously, the training was given exclusively to full and part-time employees.
- The company has created a Responsible Gaming Council, comprised of seven appointed senior leaders. That body is charged with auditing and improving the Caesars Responsible Gaming policy.
- Caesars Entertainment and the Caesars Foundation contributed more than $300,000 to the International Center for Responsible Gambling (ICRG), National Council on Problem Gambling and other responsible gaming organizations in 2022.
- Since 2021, Caesars has partnered with the NFL and the Manning family (former pro quarterbacks Peyton, Eli, Archie and others) to create its first commercial advertisements singularly focused on responsible gaming.