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 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 President & CEO, 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.
In addition, to address our Interactive Division’s customers, our Company 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.
When the Barstool Sportsbook launched, it did so alongside an authentic public service announcement from Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy and lead talent Dan “Big Cat” Katz, reminding their audience that “if you have a problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER”. In just seven months, that PSA has received over 570,000 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.