Regulators Tout Importance of Collaboration for Legal Sports Betting Market to Thrive - Newstbt.com
The expanding legality of sports betting in America has caused a disjointed range of regulations in multiple states, however, persons involved in the industry and controllers are embracing a cooperative strategy to set up laws for the market.
At this week’s All-American Sports Betting Summit in San Diego, representatives from state governments, sportsbooks and vendors gathered to discuss the importance of regulation. The consensus was that a unified effort from all stakeholders is necessary in order to create a positive customer experience and ward off competition from offshore operators. During his keynote speech, Seth Schorr, CEO of Fifth Street Gaming, urged regulators, operators, and vendors to work together and adhere to a balanced approach to regulation. “Regulators are not cops, at least not most of them,” said Schorr. “Our goal should be to protect the integrity of the game, pay taxes, and take care of our customers.” (Image: All American Sports Betting Summit)
Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chair Cathy Judd-Stein has emphasized the importance of protecting consumers and the integrity of wagers, as well as providing operators with responsible gaming programs. The Commission recently compromised on affiliate marketing to address the industry’s concerns. At a panel discussion, Judd-Stein expressed her concern that the Commission should not over-regulate, referencing offshore books as a common foe.
Offshore Books, A Common Foe
At a conference, Judd-Stein stressed the importance of Attorneys General’s (AGs) in keeping consumers away from unlicensed offshore sportsbooks, in order for the industry to remain competitive and even outpace the illegal market. She noted that AGs, like operators, have the same interest of protecting consumers, and work to “ensure the industry can not only compete with the illegal market but put it out of business.”
Attorneys General Key to Enforcement
Jason Downs, co-chair of the state attorneys general practice group at Brownstein Hyatt Schreck, highlighted the involvement of attorneys general (AGs) in overseeing sports betting operations in addition to the main gaming regulator in each state. Downs also stated that it is the AGs’ responsibility to address issues such as data breaches, deceptive advertising and consumer privacy, and that as elected officials, they have an incentive to protect the voters of their states engaged in sports betting. He provided advice to sportsbook operators to actively engage with AGs, referencing the Attorney General Alliance and the National Association of Attorneys General, which both allow corporate members and industry groups to join their meetings respectively.
Downs believes that regulation can create an opportunity for Democratic and Republican partisan organizations for Attorneys General, although there are numerous elements to consider when deciding if a partisan context should be entered into.
Regulation Seen as Opportunity
Niki Metzgar-Schall, Group General Counsel for the Chairman of the Board at Pinnacle, commented that there is less of a resistance for collaboration between industry and regulators, a conversation that is necessary in order to meet customer expectations. According to her, the end goal is to offer customers the ability to deposit and receive payouts. Nick Giangreco, Vice President of Marketing at SCCG Management, noted that the presence of legal, regulated markets has given rise to other opportunities, including the birth of the XFL and USFL. While the industry had critiques on certain regulations (such as disallowing bets on in-state college sports or limitations on advertising), most were in agreement that regulations are beneficial on the whole.
At a panel discussion on Friday, Giangreco argued that regulating sports betting can create monetization routes and fan engagement platforms that will legitimize and fuel these opportunities.
The professional casino player, author of books and articles about gambling, creator of gaming content. I study this field and am happy to share my knowledge and skills acquired over the years with everyone