Independent non-profit Conscious Gaming has launched a new national campaign to educate consumers about the difference between regulated and unregulated online gaming operators, called Bettor Safe.
Conscious Gaming was created by geolocation technology supplier GeoComply and aims to educate consumers on the risks of betting on illegal gaming websites, compared to the benefits of using legal and regulated operators.
In addition to the core Bettor Safe campaign, two state-specific initiatives, Bettor Safe New Jersey and Bettor Safe Pennsylvania, also rolled out, and Conscious Gaming aims to create a state-specific presence in other states soon.
The campaign relies on a multi-channel approach, reaching consumers through advertisements, videos, an informational website and state-specific resources. Bettor Safe aims to empower individuals to distinguish between regulated and unregulated operators.
Conscious Gaming pointed out that 15 states plus the District of Columbia now offer some form of legal online betting.
It added, however, that recent data suggests there exists a persistent confusion among consumers about igaming. It cited a survey from the American Gaming Association (AGA), which found that 35% of individuals are unaware of whether online betting is legal in their state, and many others are “deceived by illegal operators” into betting on unregulated websites.
A recent survey conducted by Conscious Gaming on behalf of the campaign, polling more than 500 adults in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, found that 25% of respondents in New Jersey and more than 30% in Pennsylvania are either unaware whether online betting is legal in their state, or responded that it was not legal.
The survey also revealed that around 75% of those polled were either not able or not sure if they were able to differentiate an unlicensed betting site from a licensed one.
“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’s 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.”
The North American Gaming Regulators Association (NAGRA) added, 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.”
In January, GeoComply announced a donation of $200,000 to Conscious Gaming, in support of the deployment of its self-exclusion tool, PlayPause.
The supplier launched PlayPause in September 2020, with the intention to provide the tool free-of-charge to operators. The launch coincided with the American Gaming Association’s Responsible Gambling Week from 15-20 September.