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8/25/20  2:51 pm
Commenter: DraftKings

DraftKings Comments on 11 VAC 5-60 - Self-Exclusion Program

DraftKings Inc., a leading sports betting operator in ten states in the U.S., hereby submits comments on the licensing and consumer protection provisions addressed in the first round of proposed sports betting regulations issued on by the Lottery on July 15, 2020.  Recognizing that the Department has a limited period of time to review and consider proposed changes, DraftKings submits these initial sets of comments to allow ample time for the Department to consider incorporating changes. DraftKings anticipates submitting additional comments on the provisions released on August 10 in the near future.  Thank you for your consideration.

PLEASE NOTE text in underlined bold denotes an insertion and text between [brackets] denotes a deletion.

DraftKings Comments on 11 VAC 5-60 - Self-Exclusion Program

11 VAC 5-60-20           Request for self-exclusion

D. A request for self-exclusion shall be in a form prescribed by the Department, which shall include:

[(1)(vi). A physical description of the individual, including height, weight, gender, hair color, eye color, and any other physical characteristic that may assist in the identification of the individual;]

DraftKings respectfully requests the above language is removed, as a physical description may be difficult to ascertain in a mobile setting and serves little corresponding benefit in identifying self-excluded persons from a mobile product.  Additionally, requesting too much information may make users less likely to complete the process, thus defeating the purpose of aiding consumers. DraftKings respectfully suggests striking the requirement to obtain information related to physical description when a customer self-excludes.

2. The length of self-exclusion requested by the individual:

  1. [Two]  One year[s]; or
  2. Five years[; or]
  3. [Lifetime.]

DraftKings respectfully suggests that the minimum period that users may elect to self-exclude statewide is one year instead of two.  We believe that this strongly protects users while being consistent with other states in which permit holders may operate, such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  Consistency with requirements across states allows sports betting operators to more seamlessly implement these requirements.   DraftKings further suggests clarifying that the lifetime exclusion option does not need to be provided in an online form, since lifetime exclusion is required to be requested in person pursuant to 11 VAC 5-60-20 B. and C.

H. For Internet self-exclusion submissions: The Internet gaming system shall provide a link within the player’s Internet gaming account directly to an Internet self-exclusion application form and provide to the self-excluding individual for his or her acknowledgment the following statement…

DraftKings respectfully suggests that the Department host and make available the online form that permit holders may link to so that users may engage in the self-exclusion process directly with the state, ensuring a centralized process and efficiency in disseminating the information to all necessary parties.

11 VAC 5-60-40           Duties of sports betting permit holder

A. A sports betting permit holder shall establish procedures that are designed, to the greatest extent practicable, to:

[3. Void all outstanding wagers of an individual on the self-exclusion list;]

DraftKings respectfully suggests modifying this provision in order to allow an individual’s outstanding bets to settle even after they have been added to the self-exclusion list.  Self-exclusion addresses responsible gaming concerns and protects consumers by ensuring that they cannot place any additional bets, however a requirement to void outstanding bets could allow individuals to exploit this provision by self-excluding not due to responsible gaming concerns, but to avoid a negative outcome on a bet. This has been the approach adopted by regulation in other jurisdictions, for example, in Pennsylvania, 58 Pa. Code Section 812.9(i)(2)(iii) only requires that a “player must be paid in full for his account balance” and the account closed

11 VAC 5-60-50           Removal from self-exclusion list

A. Except for those individuals choosing a lifetime self-exclusion, any self-excluded individual may, upon the expiration of the period of self-exclusion requested pursuant to 11 VAC 5-60-20, request removal of his or her name from the self-exclusion list online or by submitting, in person, a completed request for removal as required in B. below. The request shall be delivered to Department headquarters or to such other location as may be specified by the Department. Any individual submitting a request for removal from the list in person shall be required to present valid identification credentials containing his or her signature and either a photograph or a general physical description.

DraftKings respectfully requests that an online option be available for users to remove their name from the self-exclusion list upon the expiration of a period of self-exclusion.  Since this is a mobile product and users may self-exclude online, it stands to reason that they should be able to remove their names online at the conclusion of the self-exclusion period as well.

CommentID: 84226