Technology

Pennsylvania Becomes First State to Partner with PlayPause Self-Exclusion Tool

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and Conscious Gaming announced this week that the Keystone State will become the first to utilize PlayPause, a new self-exclusion tool for online gaming.

GeoComply Cofounder and Chair Anna Sainsbury helped establish Conscious Gaming, the nonprofit organization that is working with state gaming officials, operators, and other stakeholders to build awareness and acceptance of PlayPause. PlayPause allows individuals who want to self-exclude themselves from one state apply that ban into other states. Pennsylvania became this first state this week to join the initiative. (Image: University of New Hampshire()

PlayPause will allow people who sign up for the self-exclusion program in Pennsylvania to exercise the option of extending that exclusion in other states.

By integrating with this solution, the industry and regulators can increase well-being efforts and advance the effectiveness of self-exclusion,” said Elizabeth Lanza, the PGCB’s director of the Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling.

The technology was developed by GeoComply. To help spread the technology across the US, the Vancouver-based company created Conscious Gaming as a nonprofit philanthropic organization. Conscious Gaming, formed in September, will work with state regulators, gaming operators, advocates, and other stakeholders to identify ways to promote responsible gaming.

“We are looking forward to further collaboration with industry stakeholders to expand coverage and impact for this solution,” said Anna Sainsbury, a Conscious Gaming trustee and GeoComply’s chair and cofounder.

To help it establish partnerships with states like Pennsylvania, Conscious Gaming brought on former Caesars executive Seth Palansky earlier this month to serve as its vice president of corporate social responsibility and communications.

Thousands Dealing with Problem Gaming in Pennsylvania

Problem gaming is a more pervasive issue than many may think.

According to the Council on Compulsive Gaming of Pennsylvania, about 85 percent of all adult Americans have wagered at least once in their lives. The Council states, according to research, that about 5 million Americans, or somewhere between 1 percent and 3 percent, experience some type of problem gaming issue.

For Pennsylvania, that would be about 200,000 adults in the state that have experienced an issue with problem gaming.

“As more gambling becomes available, and participation increases, it is likely that more people may begin to experience problems,” the Council’s website states.

PlayPause Also Partnering with BetMGM

While Pennsylvania was the first state to sign on with PlayPause, Conscious Gaming did reach its first partnership with an operator last month.

GVC Holdings became the first operator. The company operates BetMGM online sportsbook and iGaming apps through a partnership with MGM Resorts International.

This past month has been a busy one for BetMGM in Pennsylvania. It launched its iGaming and sports betting apps there. The company spent $8 million to get certificates to offer table games and slots as an independent operator.

The company also offers iGaming in Nevada, New Jersey, and West Virginia.

The sportsbook app launched on Dec. 18, making Pennsylvania MGM’s seventh state for mobile sports betting. The others are Colorado, Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

Steve Bittenbender

Horse Racing, Sports Betting, Gaming Legislation, Midwest and Gulfport Casinos----Steve Bittenbender is a veteran reporter, and brings more than two decades of experience covering sports, gaming business, and politics and legislation to Casino.org, which he joined in 2019. Based in Louisville, Kentucky -- the epicenter of the US horse racing industry -- Steve has also covered major collegiate and professional sports for the Associated Press and the Louisville Courier Journal, and is frequently featured on local network TV newscasts and podcasts for his horse racing business and legislative expertise. A Reuters contributor, he has also previously served as editor for Government Security News. Steve lives with his wife and son, and is an avid poker player, having learned from his uncle as a wholesome after-school pasttime with cookies and milk. Email: stevebittenbender@casino.org

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