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Online Gambling Firms’ Safeguards Differ in US and UK

Online gambling firms FanDuel and BetMGM are reportedly not offering in the United States some of the safeguards they have implemented in the United Kingdom.

The two companies — FanDuel is owned by Irish company Flutter and BetMGM is jointly owned by British company Entain and MGM Resorts International — are leading competitors in the U.S. online gambling market, Reuters reported Wednesday (July 3).

In the U.K., both companies have placed limits on VIP programs that cater to their most active customers. However, in the U.S., both companies placed job ads in recent months that said that VIP account managers would be expected to increase player activity and drive revenue, according to the report.

Another difference has to do with protections for customers who are under the age of 25. Flutter places net deposit limits on these customers in the U.K. and Ireland, but has no such limits for those under 25 in the U.S., the report said.

In addition, in the U.K., both companies monitor customers’ affordability of bets and intervene when they spot signs of a gambling problem. In the U.S., in contrast, the companies use voluntary measures that require the customer to take action, per the report.

Both FanDuel and BetMGM have adopted measures in the U.S. that include enabling clients to set deposit limits, enabling them to temporarily suspend their accounts, and funding research into gambling behavior, according to the report.

Asked about the company’s practices in the U.S., Flutter told Reuters that it operates “in strict accordance” with each jurisdiction’s rules and regulations.

Entain told Reuters that it operates in dozens of markets and that “it would simply not be feasible or commercially viable to have a ‘one size fits all’ approach.”

It was reported in March that seven of America’s largest sportsbook companies — including FanDuel and BetMGM — launched a trade group to combat problem gambling.

The Responsible Online Gaming Association (ROGA) aims to develop resources to aid in responsible gaming education and awareness.

The launch of that trade association came at a time when there has been a surge in sports betting across the U.S., with 38 states and the District of Columbia letting residents place wagers on professional sports.