AGA, Gaming Companies Back Responsible Study of Sports Betting Impact on Health

Posted on: September 21, 2019, 03:00h. 

Last updated on: September 20, 2019, 12:49h.

The American Gaming Association (AGA) and several gaming companies have teamed up to fund a research initiative that will look into sports betting from a responsible gaming perspective.

The American Gaming Association has contributed $100,000 to serve as a founding donor for the National Center for Responsible Gaming’s Fund to Support Research on Sports Wagering. AGA President and CEO Bill Miller said the expansion of legal sports makes it imperative “to deepen our understanding of effective responsible gaming practices,” (Image: American Gaming Association)

The AGA will contribute $100,000 to serve as a founding donor of the National Center for Responsible Gaming’s (NCRG) Fund to Support Research on Sports Wagering, the association said in a release Thursday.

This will be the first time researchers will delve into sports betting’s impact on public health since the US Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018. Since that historic ruling, 12 states have joined Nevada in offering full-fledged legalized sports betting, with other states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico soon to follow.

Other states are expected to consider legalization next year when their state legislatures convene.

The expansion of legal, regulated sports betting has made it increasingly important that responsible gaming is not only a signature priority in new gaming markets, but that we also continue to deepen our understanding of effective responsible gaming practices,” said Bill Miller, AGA president and CEO.

The announcement coincided with a panel discussion held at the University of Nevada Las Vegas International Gaming Institute.

Sports Betting Impact ‘Understudied’

According to a release from the NCRG, the center plans to award research grants at “top tier institutions with the resources needed to uncover novel insights into what the introduction of legalized, regulated sports betting means for public health.”

The center expects to release a letter of intent in February and begin accepting applications in the spring. Awards will be made after the NCRG’s Scientific Advisory Board, an independent group of researchers, conduct peer reviews on the grant applications.

“The NCRG has long been a catalyst in the field of gaming research. This fund is especially significant because it will open up research in a previously understudied field in the United States – defining what we know about the effects of sports wagering for years to come,” said Dr. Russell Sanna, executive director for the National Center for Responsible Gaming. “With new opportunities for legal sports betting around the country, policymakers, practitioners, the entire industry, and the public will benefit from expanding our knowledge on this issue.”

Hard Rock Exec: ‘We All Have a Role to Play’

In addition to the AGA, MGM Resorts International has also agreed to serve as a Founding Donor.

Other companies that have gotten involved include William Hill US, GVC Holdings, IGT, and Hard Rock International. Even NASCAR, the professional stock car racing organization, has agreed to donate funds to the initiative.

“This fund is an opportunity for top researchers to provide evidence that we can use to map common approaches that help sports bettors,” Paul Pellizzari, Hard Rock International’s vice president of global social responsibility, said in a statement to “We all have a role to play building effective standards, applied programming and technology for operators, and how to make responsible gaming education relevant to our players.”

Pellizzari added Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming is bolstering its responsible gaming efforts as well. That includes additional employee training for workers to identify and support players who may need help, and educational programs aimed at both Hard Rock customers and the general public.