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Virginia Lottery
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Virginia Lottery Board
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9/9/20  10:52 pm
Commenter: Aimee Perron Seibert, Hard Rock International

Comments on Proposed Online Sports Betting Regulations (Part 2 of 2)
 

 

Item 17

Regulatory Provision

A permit holder shall offer an easily accessible method for a player to close the player’s account. Any balance remaining in an account closed by a player shall be refunded pursuant to the permit holder’s MICS within ten days of notice from the player. (11 VAC5-70-290 (O))

Comments for the Lottery Board

We recommend establishing a minimum amount to avoid having to issue a paper check for a sum as small as $0.05 when someone requests their account to be closed. 

 

Item 18

Regulatory Provision

A permit holder shall implement age-verification procedures to verify that no sports bet is placed by or on behalf of an individual under the age of 21. Procedures for verifying an individual’s age that satisfy this requirement include: (11 VAC5-80-50 (A))

Comments for the Lottery Board

We request clarifying language that not ALL of these methods are required to verify a player’s age and that just one method will suffice. 

 

Item 19

Regulatory Provision

Checking a form of government-issued identification provided by the individual against databases of such information, provided that the individual's identification is deleted from the permit holder's records promptly after the verification procedure is complete. (11 VAC5-80-50 (A)(5))

Comments for the Lottery Board

We request the line “provided that the individual’s identification is deleted from the permit holder’s records promptly after the verification process is complete.” be struck.

 

This language is very problematic. In other jurisdictions, we collect a driver’s license image when normal “Know Your Customer” procedures fail, and we keep it on file in a secure database for use in any potential fraud or disputes arise with financial transactions. 

 

Item 20

Regulatory Provision

A permit holder shall make available, prominently publish, and facilitate parental control procedures to allow parents or guardians to exclude minors from access to any sports betting platform. (11 VAC5-80-50 (C))

Comments for the Lottery Board

We request that the Board provide operators with examples of "parental control procedures." We are unaware of any such controls other than a player who is eligible to wager keeping their login credentials secured on their end and the operator using a process to verify age, as required in 11VAC5-80-50.

 

Item 21

Regulatory Provision

Making commercially reasonable efforts to obtain lists of individuals prohibited by the sports betting law from participating in sports betting for the purpose of monitoring for and excluding such individuals from platforms operated by the permit holder. (11 VAC5-80-70 (A)(2))

Comments for the Lottery Board

We request that the Board provide a list of vendors that can procure and maintain lists of this nature. Other jurisdictions restrict these persons from betting on sports as well, but we do not have definitive lists of these individuals.  Rather, we state at the time of registration that all such persons of this nature are prohibited from sports betting and they have to acknowledge before completing their registration.

 

Item 22

Regulatory Provision

A sports betting platform must possess the following features: (11 VAC5-80-90)

Comments for the Lottery Board

We are not familiar with all the features on this list. We would recommend instead that the Board require operators to adhere to GLI33 standards for mobile sports betting.  That will be a much more universal standard to use that operators are already familiar with and will have a similar result.

 

Item 23

Regulatory Provision

A permit holder shall comply with all applicable state and federal requirements for data security. (11 VAC5-80-100 (A))

Comments for the Lottery Board

Again, we recommend using the GLI standard as the basis for mobile sports betting data security as they do in other jurisdictions. 

 

Item 24

Regulatory Provision

A permit holder shall not share information that could be used to personally identify a sports bettor with any third party other than the Department, law enforcement with a warrant or subpoena or a credit-reporting agency. Information that could be used to personally identify a sports bettor includes gaming habits. (11 VAC5-80-100 (B))

Comments for the Lottery Board

We recommend striking this requirement because it conflicts with normal marketing practices used in the arena of sports betting, but also in all other types of marketing. 

 

Item 25

Regulatory Provision

If a sports bettor's segregated account remains unclaimed for five years after the balances are payable or deliverable to the sports bettor, the permit holder shall presume the account to be abandoned. The permit holder shall report and remit all segregated accounts presumed abandoned to the State Treasurer or his designee pursuant to Chapter 25 (§ 55.1-2500 et seq.) of Title 55.1 of the Code of Virginia. (11 VAC5-80-100 (G))

Comments for the Lottery Board

We recommend reducing the length of time as follows:

If a sports bettor's segregated account remains unclaimed for five years after the balances are payable or deliverable to the sports bettor one year from the last settled wager or login to their account, the permit holder shall presume the account to be abandoned. The permit holder shall report and remit all segregated accounts presumed abandoned to the State Treasurer or his designee pursuant to Chapter 25 (§ 55.1-2500 et seq.) of Title 55.1 of the Code of Virginia.

 

Item 26

Regulatory Provision

Options to implement permit holder-enforced timeouts. Sports bettors shall have the option to adjust self-imposed limits to make them more restrictive as often as they like but shall not have the option to make limits less restrictive within 90 days of setting such limits. (11 VAC5-80-110 (B)(3))

Comments for the Lottery Board

The customary timeframe and GLI standard is that the player would have to wait for the current limit to expire before they could raise the limit.  For example, if a player set a deposit limit for $100 a week, such player would have to wait for a rolling 7 days to go by before raising it to $200.  We would recommend using the existing GLI standards rather than create a new standard for responsible gaming functionality.

 

Item 27

Regulatory Provision

A permit holder’s platform shall have systems in place to identify players who may be at risk of having or developing problem gambling to enable staff to respond appropriately. (11 VAC5-80-110 (H))

Comments for the Lottery Board

We request that the Board provide a list of vendors that provide such or examples of other states that have such a requirement.

 

Item 28

Regulatory Provision

In accordance with chapter 60 of this subtitle sports bettors have the right to self-exclude from and to self-impose restrictions on their participation in sports betting in the Commonwealth. Sports bettors may self-exclude through the voluntary exclusion program as provided in § 58.1-4015.1 or directly with a permit holder. In addition to participation in the voluntary exclusion program as provided in § 58.1-4015.1, a permit holder shall honor requests from a sports bettor to self-exclude from all sports betting activities, to set deposit limits, to set limits on the sports bettor’s total betting activity, or to limit participation to bets below an established limit on a platform owned by the permit holder. (11 VA5-80-120 (A))

Comments for the Lottery Board

We request that there is a clear and easy process, such as a easy to access website portal, for individuals wishing to self-exclude through the Commonwealth’s self-exclusion program and then, a clear process for how that information will be shared with the permit holder’s on an ongoing basis to ensure they are appropriately excluding individuals from betting on sports in Virginia.

 

Item 29

Regulatory Provision

Options to set pop-up warnings concerning excessive sports betting activity: and (11 VA5-80-120 (B)(2))

Comments for the Lottery Board

We request that the Board provide examples of how to achieve such pop up warnings.  This would be a new requirement not seen in other jurisdictions and thus would require significant development beyond standard responsible gaming tools we offer to players in other jurisdictions.

 

Item 30

Regulatory Provision

Options to implement permit holder-enforced timeouts. Sports bettors shall have the option to adjust self-imposed limits to make them more restrictive as often as they like but shall not have the option to make limits less restrictive within 90 days of setting such limits. (11 VA5-80-120 (B)(3))

Comments for the Lottery Board

We have concerns about this section. It is very much out of the ordinary compared to other jurisdictions. We again recommend using the GLI standards that simply require the limit to expire before it can be raised to a higher threshold.  In cases where players make mistakes on setting their limits due to lack of understanding, they could impose a small limit by mistake and then be effectively banned for 90 days in which case they would simply go to black market options or register with another permit holder simply to circumvent any responsible gaming limit they had intended to set.  This could have unintended consequences and needs further discussion.

 

Item 31

Regulatory Provision

G. A permit holder shall develop and prominently publish procedures for honoring requests made by third parties to exclude or set limits for sports bettors. Such procedures shall include provisions for honoring requests to exclude sports bettors for whom the requester provides documentary evidence of sole or joint financial responsibility for the source of any funds wagered on sports betting on a platform owned by the permit holder, including: (11 VA5-80-120 (G))

Comments for the Lottery Board

We have serious concerns with this section of the regulations. While we understand the underlying intent, we have never seen anything similar in other jurisdictions. We have liability concerns for barring an individual based solely on a third-party request.  The only thing close is when we have to check for liens or unpaid child support with state databases before paying out big jackpot wins. 

 

Item 32

Regulatory Provision

A permit holder shall fully and accurately disclose the material terms of all promotional offers involving sports betting at the time any such offer is advertised and provide full disclosure of the terms of and limitations on the offer before the sports bettor provides anything of value in exchange for the offer. If the material terms of a promotional offer cannot be fully and accurately disclosed within the constraints of a particular advertising medium, such as on a billboard, the promotional offer may not be advertised in that medium. (11 VA5-80-140)

Comments for the Lottery Board

We don’t believe this is a reasonable restriction, especially as it relates to a billboard.  A potential solution would be for the Board to allow an operator to include “Restrictions Apply, check website for details” and list the website, clearly and visibly on the billboard. 

 

Item 33

Regulatory Provision

E. An advertisement for sports betting in published media shall (i) include information concerning assistance available to at-risk or problem bettors, or (ii) direct consumers to a reputable source for such information. If an advertisement is not of sufficient size or duration to reasonably permit inclusion of such information, that advertisement shall refer to a website, application, or telephone hotline that does prominently include such information. (11 VA5-80-150)

Comments for the Lottery Board

We request that the Board have one statewide hotline number that can be posted on all materials so there is a uniform way for people to seek help. 

 

 

CommentID: 84659