‘Moving The Field Forward’: Rush Street Interactive Adds RG Partner

Written By Matthew Waters on August 2, 2022
responsible gambling

Sports betting press releases often tout new and emerging technologies. Rush Street Interactive‘s July 20 release did just that, except the new tech was in a surprising area: responsible gambling.

Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, agreed that RSI’s deal with Neccton is big news for the US sports betting industry.

“RSI making this public commitment by bringing in a trusted third party, which is critical. They’re showing a lot of leadership and I believe they’re moving the field forward,” Whyte told LSR.

Why RSI-Neccton deal is important for responsible gambling

Whyte explained how the partnership finally makes public what few companies willingly disclose about responsible gambling efforts:

“It’s significant because it is the first in the US that’s sort of public and more transparent effort around data and responsible gambling, and that’s important. We hear from other operators – we hear informally – that they’re doing things but they’re not able or willing to show us results or tell us vendor they’re using if any. And that, frankly, makes it very hard for us to celebrate.”

The deal brings mentor, a player protection software that works with data in real time, to RSI’s online operations in the US and Ontario. Rush Street Interactive’s Director of Corporate Social Responsibility Tammi Barlow told LSR she wanted to find options that were more proactive than reactive to hopefully help customers faster.

How does Neccton technology work?

The software specifically looks for certain patterns that could show the need to intervene with a player.

It will notice a trigger, such as a significant increase in deposit frequency, and alert both Rush Street Interactive and the player. The software could also message a customer playing in the early-morning hours that gambling while tired can be dangerous, Barlow said.

The real-time analysis hopes to provide a player with any potential help they need before more harm is done. The software will first be live with BetRivers in New Jersey in January, Barlow said.

Findings could help improve RG initiatives in US

Barlow joined RSI last September with the intention of partnering with Neccton after seeing the tech at work. Her hope is to find some concrete data on players that needed responsible gambling intervention and share them with the rest of the industry.

“Maybe we can be the ones to say these are the right messages that work, these are messages that resonated with customers. Or maybe we’ll say these were the worst ones ever. I don’t want to get egg on my face and I’m sure [Neccton Director] Dr. [Michael] Auer doesn’t either, but if nobody tries, how will we know?

Either way, the partnership means RSI is actually tracking player tendencies, which covers new ground in the daylight.

“I think a lot of people speak anecdotally about, ‘Yes we’re tracking player behavior, we’re doing this, we’re doing that,’ but I have not yet seen proof of that,” Barlow said.

Whyte: Industry improving on responsible gambling

Whyte and Barlow both spoke to LSR from Boston at the 36th NCPG National Conference, the biggest one yet with 650 attendees, Whyte said. News of the partnership was broken at the conference, which Whyte called “great timing.”

“We encourage people to do this stuff but it takes intention coupled with action, and that’s what you’re seeing,” Whyte said. “Very intentional, very strategic, very public, very deliberate move.”

There is positive movement within the US sports betting and casino industry to finally take responsible gambling as serious as it should be, he added.

“We’re moving from lip service and passive support to concrete support, and it’s now action,” Whyte said.

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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