The West Virginia Responsible Gaming and Research Act Would Require Data Sharing Between Researchers and Gambling Operators

Alex Nesterenko1
the rgra would require data sharing between researchers and gambling operators

Legislation requiring gambling companies to provide researchers with data for responsible gaming research is being considered in West Virginia. Advocates for harm reduction have been urging this action, and the Mountain State now has the opportunity to take the lead.

On February 13, HB5668, which sought to establish the West Virginia Responsible Gaming and Research Act (RGRA), was introduced in the House. Representative Roger Hanshaw, the Speaker of the House at the moment, is its main backer. Rep. Shawn Fluharty, the president of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS), is with him at this meeting. Model iGaming laws are now being developed by the NCLGS. This agreement would act as a model for any state in the future that wants to allow online gambling.

All gaming intermediaries and operators in the state, whether they are online or off, would be subject to RGRA. They would have to provide West Virginia University (WVU) with anonymized player data on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. When the state was considering sports betting legislation last year, the Minnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling put out a similar plan. Now, the concept is beginning to take off.

This year, Maryland is considering conducting an iGaming vote. Its plan calls for exchanging data with the eSports department at Bowie State University and the Data Analytics program at Morgan State University.

The most recent gambling treatment diversion court law in New Jersey also mandates data sharing. That would, however, also apply to the treatment facilities that collaborate with the legal system to assist those with criminal convictions connected to gambling to avoid jail time.

Operators of gaming establishments, particularly those operating online, gather a lot of data on player activity. They are able to focus their marketing and promotional advantages and optimize their goods as a result. Nonetheless, the same information could be crucial to combating pathological gambling.

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