The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey (CCGNJ) neither supports nor opposes gambling but is concerned about gambling’s expanded role in society. Gambling’s widespread presence and easy access in recent years have produced a culture that puts more and more people at risk of becoming problem gamblers.
In response to the recent gambling surge, the Council advocates for Responsible Gambling practices to prevent people from having their lives devastated by excessive betting. As part of this initiative, CCGNJ hosts statewide, quarterly Responsible Gambling meetings where various related issues are considered and new developments in the field are presented, notably the part played by technology. CCGNJ also conducts responsible gambling training for gaming personnel.
Responsible Gambling: Preventing Problem Gambling
Responsible Gambling (RG) guidelines were established to help individuals who bet for entertainment from developing a gambling problem
Responsible Gambling identifies parameters to keep gambling at a safe level and to spread awareness about the signs of problem gambling. In general, a person who is betting, whether online, at a casino or the racetrack, or playing the lottery, is encouraged to set and adhere to self-imposed limits related to the amount of money and time spent gambling.
As the name suggests, RG promotes methods and practices that help keep bettors from wagering more than they can afford, which is a telling sign of problem gambling. A key component of RG is the gambling industry establishing a safe environment in which recreational bettors control their wagering and recognize that the odds favor the house and they should eventually expect to lose.
People cross the line into problem gambling when wagering begins to take over their life to the point that it is not something they choose to do, but something they increasingly need. As a result, problem gamblers will experience severe challenges with their finances, in relationships and with employment.
How Does the Gambling Industry & New Jersey Regulators Promote RG?
Gambling industry employees are required to recognize problem gambling behavior and intervene where appropriate, whether in a brick-and-mortar casino or an online gambling platform, by monitoring how long and how much a person has gambled, and when wagering indicates a loss of control. One tell-tale sign of problem gambling is a person ‘chasing’ his or her losses, meaning they continue to gamble in the hope of recouping what they have lost.
Given the popularity of online gambling, technology has assumed an important and critical role in RG. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has begun to use the algorithms – data gambling companies rely upon to develop their marketing strategies – to detect when a person begins to lose control of his/her betting.
Responsible Gambling Guidelines
- ·Don’t gamble to make money
- ·Only gamble with money you can afford to lose
- ·Place a limit on the money you gamble AND STICK TO IT
- ·Place a limit on the time you gamble AND STICK TO IT
- ·Bet no more than 1% of your gross income
- ·Bet no more than four times a month
- ·Do not chase your losses, meaning if you lose, do not bet more trying to recover what you lost
- ·Do not gamble to escape depression, loneliness, or anger
- ·Do not gamble when drinking excessively or when using drugs
- ·Balance gambling with other activities, such as spending time with friends, going to a movie or a show, dining.
What are the Signs of Problem Gambling?
Be vigilant for any of the following signs that gambling may be taking over:
- ·Preoccupation with gambling
- ·Borrowing money to gamble
- ·Selling personal items
- ·Irritability, Restlessness, Withdrawal
- ·Need for Excitement or Action
- ·Competitive Personality
- ·Alienation from Family and/or Friends
- ·Inability to reduce or stop gambling
- ·Lying about gambling
- ·Thinking about or committing an illegal act to finance your gambling
- ·Suicidal thoughts
If you or anyone you know displays signs of problem gambling, please call 800-GAMBLER. We provide support, treatment, and hope.
Link to CCGNJ RG brochure: https://800gambler.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/2018-Brochure-Responsible.pdf
More about Responsible Gambling: Responsible Play – ResponsiblePlay.org
Gambling Advertising Best Practices
Another important RG effort addresses excessive gambling advertising and seeks to restrict the volume of ads, as well as their messages and location. The New Jersey Attorney General recently issued best practices regarding industry marketing, which include:
- ·displaying prominently New Jersey’s 1-800-GAMBLER Helpline in their ads;
- ·ending dubious promises of “guaranteed wins” or “risk-free” bets;
- ·making wagering requirements clear in their terms and conditions;
- ·limiting advertising in locations where it would entice those under 21 years of age to play; and
- ·providing the public with the ability to swiftly opt out of direct advertising.