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Internet Gambling and Compulsive Gamblers

The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, Inc. (Council) is offering the following recommendations to Internet gambling organizations. The Council is a private, non-profit corporation which, as part of its’ mission , attempts to increase public awareness of compulsive gambling and provide information, referral and Helpline services to persons affected by this disorder. It operates the very successful www.800gambler.org website. The Council takes no position either for or against gambling.

The enclosed list is by no means an exhaustive list.  These recommendations, like the technology that drives the Internet, are constantly evolving. Internet gambling organizations that are serious about addressing the issue of compulsive gambling may want to consider implementing these recommendations:
1. Develop written policies outlining your organizations commitment to addressing the issue of compulsive gambling and post those policies on the website;
2. Provide links to compulsive gambling informational, referral and help sites like www.800gambler.org, www.responsiblegambling.org and www.ncpgambling.org;
3. Participate in industry sponsored Responsible Gaming programs like the Interactive Gaming Council’s Helping Hand Program and explain these programs to all new customers;
4. Post national and international compulsive gambling Helpline phone numbers;
5. Initiate “loss limits” and cool-down periods for customers;
6. Allow and encourage customers who are compulsive gamblers to “self-exclude” themselves;
7. Promote corporate responsibility through financial and programmatic support of both national and international Councils on Compulsive and Problem Gambling;
8. Develop strict policies on the use of credit for gambling purposes;
9. Provide ongoing training and education to all personnel on compulsive gambling issues;
10. Encourage all operators to educate the public regarding available software filtering products that can deter underage gambling and develop strong, highly visible warnings pronouncing “no underage gambling allowed”;
11. Support regulations of Internet gambling that clearly address prohibitions of underage gambling and funding for compulsive gambling awareness programs;
12. Make the legal age for sports betting and casino gambling at least 21 years old.
13. Develop betting line criteria for each customer so that problem gambling patterns can be discovered and stopped.

Organizations interested in implementing the above policies may contact Edward Looney, CCGC, Executive Director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, Inc. (USA) at 609-588-5515 ext. 17 or e-mail him at edl@800gambler.org.  Compulsive gambling is treatable and it is both good business and good public policy for the Internet gaming industry and regulatory agencies to adequately address this issue.

The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, Inc.
3635 Quakerbridge Road, Suite 7
Hamilton, NJ  08619
609-588-5515
www.800gambler.org

Much of the material enclosed was developed by Kevin O’Neill, past Deputy Director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of NJ, Inc.