The National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) has launched the Fund to Support Research on Sports Wagering, which will issue grants to researchers studying the effects of legalized sports betting on public health.
The Fund is supported financially by donations of $100,000 or more from the American Gaming Association and MGM Resorts International, with contributions of up to $99,999 coming from William Hill US and GVC Holdings.
Stock car racing series NASCAR, technology provider International Game Technology (IGT) and casino operator Hard Rock International have each donated between $10,00 and $49,999.
“This effort is bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders who are committed to ensuring that as legal sports betting options grow, the field is given the care and study consumers deserve to support responsible, healthy gaming practices,” NCRG chairman Alan Feldman said.
“These generous contributions will allow the NCRG to conduct research independently and with integrity.”
NCRG executive director Dr Russell Sanna added: “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.
“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.”
Grant applications to the fund will be peer-reviewed and ultimately decided upon by NCRG’s independent Scientific Advisory Board, made up of researchers in the field from across North America.
“It is important to support seminal scientific research in an emerging and rapidly expanding segment of the American gaming industry,” NCRG senior research director Christine Reilly added. “Because sports wagering was illegal outside of Nevada until only a year ago, we have an obligation to understand its impacts.”