Responsible GamingPromoting responsible gaming is a core value and commitment of Penn National’s gaming and pari-mutuel racing facilities.
Know Your Limit
Our Code of Conduct
We want all our customers to have fun and to enjoy our properties safely. We are committed to a policy of responsible gaming at our gaming and pari-mutuel racing properties.
While we recognize the overwhelming majority of our customers enjoy our various forms of gaming and non-gaming amenities responsibly, we also understand that there is a small portion of the population who do not.
To protect them, and others affected by their behavior, we have established a set of policies and guidelines modeled after the American Gaming Association’s Code of Conduct for Responsible Gaming. The “Code” establishes minimum standards that address problem gambling, underage gambling, improper use of alcohol, responsible marketing and advertising, and the prevention of unattended minors. Penn National Gaming and its properties use a variety of approaches to promote responsible gaming including team member training programs at hire (and annually) that cover all aspects of responsible gaming; customer awareness campaigns; self-exclusion and financial restriction programs; written procedures for recognizing and managing these issues; use of outside experts; and ongoing monitoring and review to gauge the effectiveness of these programs, which includes quarterly Responsible Gaming Reports, quarterly employee interviews and internal audit reviews.
Caring For Our Guests
Penn National recognizes that caring for our people and our communities includes caring for our valued guests and customers. In conjunction with our Gold Level partnership with the International Center for Responsible Gaming (ICRG), our Company has established a comprehensive framework to promote a culture of responsible gaming throughout our organization.
Penn National maintains a Corporate Responsible Gaming Committee to oversee its responsible gaming programs and regularly consults with the ICRG and other partner responsible gaming organizations. The Committee’s goals include:
- Promoting a culture of responsible gaming.
- Establishing minimum responsible gaming related policies and procedures including the establishment of programs to allow patrons to self-exclude and set up financial restrictions and marketing restrictions.
- Overseeing ongoing reporting by property based Responsible Gaming Committees at each Penn National property.
- Preventing underage gambling and unattended minors in casinos.
- Serving alcoholic beverages responsibly.
- Advertising responsibly.
- Training team members on responsible gaming.
- Supporting and promoting research-based policies on responsible gaming.
- Providing ongoing oversight and review of compliance with all responsible gaming policies and programs.
This Committee meets quarterly and consists of senior Penn National executives, including our Executive VP of Operations, Chief Legal Officer, Chief Compliance Officer, and senior executives in Human Resources, Marketing, Internal Audit, as well as its Senior Vice Presidents of Regional Operations.
The Penn National Corporate Responsible Gaming Committee has established a comprehensive Corporate Responsible Gaming Program (“Corporate RG Program”) based on the American Gaming Association’s (“AGA”) Code of Conduct for Responsible Gaming to meet the goals described above that governs all of its casino facilities and online products.
As required by the Corporate RG Program, each individual Penn National property maintains a property Responsible Gaming Committee, chaired by the property general manager, that sets property responsible gaming standards in accordance with Corporate RG Program standards, ICRG recommended practices, and the AGA’s Code of Conduct. In addition, Penn National’s internal audit department conducts regular responsible gaming audits at each property and its Interactive Division to ensure compliance with established responsible gaming standards.
Prevention of Problem/Compulsive Gambling
Penn National Gaming wants all of its customers to have fun and to enjoy its properties safely, which is why it’s committed to a policy of responsible gaming at all of its gaming and pari-mutuel racing properties.
While Penn National recognizes the overwhelming majority of its customers enjoy its various forms of gambling and non-gambling amenities responsibly, it also understands that there is a small portion of the population who do not. Therefore, Penn National posts signage in conspicuous places around its properties promoting responsible gaming and where to find assistance, including a toll-free help line number. At a minimum, this information is located at casino entrances and exits, at cashier cages, and in the vicinity of every ATM and credit card advance machines or other cash access devices. Penn National also makes responsible gaming brochures available in the vicinity of all ATMs, cages, credit areas, guest services desks, sports betting windows, and at other areas around the properties that describe the signs and symptoms that may be indicative of a gambling problem and that include the toll-free help line. Penn National also makes available to patrons and employees information generally explaining the probabilities of winning or losing at the various gambling games offered by the casino.
In addition to the resources above, if a team member of Penn National encounters a patron who indicates they may have a gambling problem or who asks for information about problem gambling, Penn National is committed to being sympathetic and approachable and to discretely inform the patron that programs and assistance are available to help someone who may be having problems with gambling including the existence of self-exclusion and self-restriction programs. The patron will be offered a responsible gaming brochure and will be told that there is a toll-free responsible gaming helpline that the patron can call to get professional help and further information on the issue.
We also know that compulsive gambling is often referred to as a hidden addiction. The identification of compulsive and problem gambling behavior may be difficult for non-mental health personnel, so team members are expected to look for the outward signs of a potential gambling problem as discussed in their responsible gaming training and must report any concerns to their supervisor or security personnel.
To address its Interactive Division’s customers, Penn National has developed a robust responsible gaming program, including internal controls for account registration. Part of a registrant’s information is checked through a database of public records to confirm the individual’s information and identity.
Only upon verifying an identity is an individual allowed to deposit into their sports betting or online casino account and wager when physically located in a legally approved jurisdiction. There is no anonymous gaming on our online gaming offerings. Penn National goes above and beyond to ensure that registrants are not part of Penn National’s database of excluded patrons.
At registration, each registrant’s name and date of birth is checked against that database. Penn National voluntarily employs an “exclude one, exclude all” policy, meaning that any individual excluded at any Penn National property is not allowed to gamble at sister properties or register for our online gaming products. Further, the Company will block any individual’s account if the individual subsequently places themselves on a respective jurisdiction’s voluntary or involuntary exclusion list. Penn National performs daily checks of its online players list to ensure that no one listed on a jurisdiction’s voluntary or involuntary exclusion list is allowed to participate in our online offerings.
Beyond its gatekeeping measures, Company online operations provide customers with a number of services to promote responsible gaming. Primarily, the online applications (“app”) provide a number of resources and literature to players in its “Responsible Gaming and Patron Protection” and “Limits” sections. Players can set various monetary limits in an effort to stay within their budget. This includes deposit, single wager, and total wager (daily, weekly, or monthly) limits. Our online offerings further provide the option of setting time limits, which prevent players from logging into their account for 24 hours after the voluntarily set time limit is met. In addition, players can set a “check-in” alert that will notify a player when they have been active on the app for a certain amount of time.
To further promote responsible gaming, there are waiting periods of 24 hours, seven days, and one month to increase or remove limits, aimed at preventing a vulnerable player from changing responsible gaming settings impulsively. In addition, players can set a timeout of at least 72 hours where they will not be able to login during this cooling off period.
Further, consistent with the Penn National’s omni-channel approach, Penn National and Barstool Sports are creating a cohesive, consistent message regarding responsible gaming across its interactive products, including the Barstool Sportsbook and Casino.
Barstool Sports personalities, including Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy and lead talent Dan “Big Cat” Katz, among others, periodically provide authentic public service announcements reminding their audience that “if you have a problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER”. Such PSAs have received hundreds of thousands of views. Moreover, Penn National and Barstool Sports launched Barstool Sportsbook responsible gaming platforms on Twitter and Instagram, providing dedicated platforms with the sole goal of delivering meaningful responsible gaming messaging under the Barstool brand.
Penn National and Barstool Sports incorporate the traditional, industry standard responsible gaming message in its gaming content, focusing on the 1-800-GAMBLER hotline number to provide its audience with the industry leading, easily recalled, and nationally available avenue of support if in need. The app provides this number at several customer interaction points, from the account section, to the customer’s bet slip, to an inactivity timeout. Moreover, because the bet slip provides the hotline number, any time a customer shares their bet slip with friends or on social media, that customer is joining our responsible gaming effort by sharing the 1-800-GAMBLER resource.
In addition, Barstool incorporates this messaging in its day-to-day content. For example, the nation’s leading sports podcast, Barstool’s “Pardon My Take”, often reminds its multi-million-person audience that gambling should always be viewed as a form of entertainment. In Big Cat’s own words, “Gambling should be for entertainment. 1-800-GAMBLER if you have a problem….this…should be fun, entertainment. Don’t bet more than you can afford.”
Beyond merely words, Barstool transparently tracks and discloses gambling picks and results. A constant part of Barstool content is personalities admitting their lack of expertise and discussion of gaming losses. Barstool routinely shares daily win/loss records in shows, podcasts, and on social media. As Big Cat has said, “I’m still a bad gambler. Maybe I should put this into my Twitter bio. Don’t follow my picks expecting to win. I lose. I am a lifelong loser. A Loser with a capital ‘L’.”
Penn National and Barstool are improving the way we talk about responsible gaming to engage our entire audience in a meaningful way and will continue to focus on the well-being of our customers.
Concern for Children
Penn National is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all its guests, visitors and team members. An important part of this commitment is to ensure that our patrons do not leave minors unattended either inside or outside of the facility. Penn National posts signage informing parents and guardians not to leave children unsupervised. Team members are trained to be on the lookout for any unattended children and to report any such children to our security department while keeping an eye on the child until security arrives on the scene.
Prevention of Underage Gambling/Alcohol Consumption
All of Penn National’s U.S. gaming properties require guests to be age 21 or older in order to gamble or to purchase/consume alcohol. Team members at each Penn property are extensively trained to be on the lookout for persons under age 21 trying to enter the gaming facility, and security staff are trained to card anyone appearing to be under age 30. Team members are authorized to ask any person gambling or purchasing/drinking alcohol for proof of age. We confiscate any false or altered IDs we come across and may inform outside law enforcement and gaming agents when we catch someone under 21. We have zero tolerance for underage persons trying to circumvent the law.
While our patrons bear the personal responsibility to not consume alcohol to the point of intoxication, Penn National shall, at a minimum, follow the following policies related to alcoholic beverage service and intoxicated individuals:
- A visibly intoxicated patron will be denied entry to the casino portion of the facility or bar areas;
- A visibly intoxicated patron will not be knowingly served alcoholic beverages;
- Property staff will make a diligent effort to not allow a visibly intoxicated patron to gamble;
- Property staff will make a diligent effort to not knowingly allow a visibly intoxicated patron to drive a motor vehicle when leaving the facility.
Recognizing the Problem
It is widely believed that 1 percent to 2 percent of all gamblers are compulsive and that most experience varying degrees of depression and problems in their lives. Participating in games of chance becomes a self-medicating distraction, providing only temporary relief from underlying problems associated with compulsive behavior.
How do you know if you have a gambling problem?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Have you often gambled longer than you had planned?
- Have you often gambled until your last dollar was gone?
- Do thoughts of gambling cause you to lose sleep?
- Have you used your income or savings to gamble while letting bills go unpaid?
- Have you made repeated, unsuccessful attempts to stop gambling?
- Have you broken the law or considered breaking the law to finance your gambling?
- Have you borrowed money to finance your gambling?
- Have you felt depressed or suicidal because of your gambling losses?
- Have you been remorseful after gambling?
- Have you ever gambled to get money to meet your financial obligations?
If you or someone you know answers yes to any of the above questions, consider seeking professional help or advice by calling the National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700.
What can you do if you have a problem?
Admit that you have a progressive illness that won't go away by itself. Thousands of people have received help through Gamblers Anonymous or other programs designed specifically for people with gambling problems.
Problem Gambling Assistance
Available Resources by State
Besides the National Problem Gambling Helpline, individual states also run free confidential problem gambling help lines and provide online information on problem gambling. For those seeking more information, or assistance with these issues, the following individual state resources are available:
The National Council on Problem Gambling
730 11th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20002
Cambridge Health Alliance Division on Addiction
National Center for Responsible Gaming
American Gaming Association