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US – Conscious Gaming launches national consumer awareness campaign

By - 3 March 2021

Conscious Gaming has launched “Bettor Safe,” a national campaign to educate consumers about the risks of betting on illegal websites and the benefits of legal and regulated gaming options if they choose to wager.

Accompanying the campaign launch, two state-specific initiatives, Bettor Safe New Jersey and Bettor Safe Pennsylvania, also rolled out with the goal to have a presence in other states soon.

Leveraging a multi-channel approach that will reach consumers through advertisements, videos, an informational website and state-specific resources, Bettor Safe aims to empower individuals to know where online betting is legal and distinguish between regulated and unregulated sites.

“Bettor Safe underscores Conscious Gaming’s commitment to consumer protection and safety by directly educating individuals about the risks of unregulated online betting,” said Conscious Gaming VP of Corporate Social Responsibility & Communications, Seth Palansky.

“This campaign comes at a pivotal moment when American sports fans are gearing up for the NCAA basketball tournament amid a pandemic that continues to push individuals online. Now more than ever we must educate consumers and equip them with the tools to make more informed decisions about online betting.”

Today, fifteen states and the District of Columbia offer some form of legal online betting including sports betting, iGaming and poker. Recent data suggests persistent confusion among consumers about online betting – according to the American Gaming Association (AGA), 35 per cent of individuals are unaware if online betting is legal in their states and many more, deceived by illegal operators, are wagering on unregulated sites.

Bettor Safe will address misinformation by providing easy-to-find, consumer-facing resources about legal online betting, with the Bettor Safe website serving as an educational hub.

“The regulator community sees, firsthand, the risks that illegal gambling present to consumers and state governments. We cannot cede the established rules and safeguards of regulated internet gaming to offshore websites that have zero accountability,” said the North American Gaming Regulators Association (NAGRA) in a statement in support of Bettor Safe.

“NAGRA is pleased to support Bettor Safe and we encourage all stakeholders to rally behind this campaign to educate consumers and stamp out unregulated internet gambling.”

A recent survey conducted by Conscious Gaming on behalf of the Bettor Safe campaign polled more than 500 adults in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, respectively, on their habits and attitudes towards online betting. The survey found more than 25 per cent of respondents in New Jersey and more than 30 per cent of respondents in Pennsylvania are unaware if online betting is legal in their state or responded that it was not legal.

Further, the survey revealed about 75 per cent of New Jersey and Pennsylvania residents could not or are not sure if they could differentiate a legal betting site from an illegal website. However, among those surveyed who currently bet online, respondents (42 per cent in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania) overwhelmingly cite “safety and security” as most important to them.

“Educating Pennsylvanians about the security and safety advantages of legal online betting is critical,” explained Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Executive Director Kevin O’Toole.

“Approved operators in Pennsylvania have been vetted and they meet high regulatory standards which permits consumers to wager on legal sites with the confidence that their funds and identity are secure and that regulated websites will be responsible and accountable.

“The Bettor Safe campaign is an important resource to empower consumers to identify and use these regulated sites in Pennsylvania.”

Bettor Safe is the latest effort from Conscious Gaming to aid consumers and promote responsible gaming. In September 2020, Conscious Gaming rolled out PlayPause, a new responsible gaming and sports integrity tool to help the gaming industry manage self-exclusion and impermissible bettor programmes.

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