BetMGM Boss Still Concerned About Potential U.S. Backlash

March 9, 2023
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BetMGM’s top executive said Wednesday that the U.S. sports-betting industry remains at “significant risk” of facing a similar regulatory backlash to European jurisdictions.

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BetMGM’s top executive said Wednesday (March 8) that the U.S. sports-betting industry remains at “significant risk” of facing a similar regulatory backlash to European jurisdictions.

CEO Adam Greenblatt said during an appearance at the iGaming Next conference in New York that the U.S. could still face a similar fate if continued attention is not paid to responsible gaming issues.

“Until it’s avoided, the answer is I don’t know,” he said. “What I do know is that there is significant risk. What I do know is that left unattended, it will happen to us; the U.S. will follow the path of so many international markets.”

Greenblatt was asked during an interview at the event about responsible gambling regulations that could be difficult for operators to follow, such as a Massachusetts requirement that 75 percent of the audience at a live event must be of legal betting age to advertise at that event.

“The regulations are certainly top of mind,” he said. “Navigating some of these requirements are just, in the real world, impossible to police. How do you know if it’s 71 [percent] or 77 [percent]?

“The spirit, however, that’s something we can champion,” he continued. “Just don’t go after college kids, end of.”

“Don’t go after underage; make sure that you’re targeting an audience that fits the criteria. And then, will there be some leakage? Will you get it wrong sometimes? Maybe, but maybe at the margin.”

The BetMGM boss also acknowledged, however, that the incentive was there for other operators to take shortcuts.

“This is the old prisoner’s dilemma. The incentive to cheat is so high, particularly when the addressable market is so valuable,” he said. “I think that’s something we as an industry have to be on top of, but we work with our regulators on that.”

“It’s not my job to police other licensees.”

One positive Greenblatt noted is that the U.S. can learn from the responsible gambling advances that have been made in other markets.

“What I do take comfort from, however, is that while the industry itself is in its relative infancy, the narrative around responsible gambling is that much more sophisticated, that much more evolved, and it feels like it’s going much more quickly,” he said.

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