March is A month of informing about the problems of gambling, a massive campaign that includes consultant trainings, health survey days, social media campaigns and many other activities aimed at raising public awareness of gambling issues and the availability of rehabilitation, treatment and prevention services. I hope that gambling operators across the state and the country will take this call to action seriously.
Although most people who gamble do so responsibly, 5 million Americans there may be problems with gambling every year. The consequences of gambling addiction go beyond addicts themselves, negatively affecting their families and communities. And those effects could be exacerbated if gambling becomes more available across the United States, if operators do not tighten their responsibilities in the field of gambling.
New opportunities for gambling are emerging every day as more states legalize various forms of gambling, including through eSports, jumping, simple casino games, online casinos or sports betting. Thirty states and the District of Columbia have live, legal sports bettingthree more states will be up and running soon and seven more with current or pre-submitted legislation / ballots in 2022.
These events present the gambling industry with attractive commercial opportunities. But to be successful and sustainable in the long run, the industry must make wise use of these opportunities.
Large and developing industry
Sports betting was legalized in New Jersey in June 2018, and they have since become a $ 10 billion industry. $ 102.6 million in state tax receipts last year. This income helps a number of programs across the state, including treatment centers, but in itself it is not a sufficient means to combat gambling in the state.
I would argue that even more of these tax revenues can be directed to help problem players, not only through treatment centers, but also through research into the root causes of addiction and how operators can incorporate data into their security protocols.
As gambling opportunities expand across the country, it is more important than ever for gambling companies to inform their new and existing customers about the dangers of problematic gambling and best practices for responsible game.
These operators should use all available technologies to track problematic gambling behavior and restrict these players ’access to their platforms. Gambling companies can collect a range of data indicating gambling addiction – or “protection tokens” – and this should be included in their safety and security practices.
Protect troubled players
While it is clear that gaming companies may want to increase their revenue and customer base through advertising, it should be conducted in such a way that troubled players are protected. Digital advertising tools that allow users to opt out of related advertising are preferable to those that players cannot avoid.
Gambling companies need to consistently review their regulatory requirements to ensure that they meet the changing needs of gamblers and look for new ways in which gambling habits can become unmanageable.
Operators can also fund responsible gambling initiatives that explore new ways to reach players and those at high risk, such as college athletes. For example, Entain Foundation US is a trustee of which I work with Princeton Public Affairs Group partner Bill Pascrel III and former New York Giants broadcaster Amani Tumer, a sponsor or partner of a number of responsible gambling organizations.
Responsible gambling is often referred to as “stable gambling” and for good reason: the gambling industry and the thousands of people who work across it across the country cannot hope to continue unless it properly addresses gambling in all its forms.
Rejecting the obvious moral imperative for operators to protect customers from harm, it is in their own financial interest to ensure proper regulation of the industry so that customers receive the right tools and education to avoid problematic behavior, and resources are directed to treatment centers, counselors and support groups. who are at the forefront of the problem of gambling.
With the Month of Gambling Awareness Month approaching, gambling-promoting companies should be involved in protecting vulnerable populations. We have passed the point of awareness – it is time to act.