Responsible Gambling

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As more and more US states expand legal gaming options within their borders, responsible gambling becomes a major topic of discussion. All the stakeholders in the US gaming industry have a vested interest in promoting the responsible use of any legal gaming products offered.

CONTENTS

WHAT IS RESPONSIBLE GAMING?

Responsible gaming is a consistent and concerted effort to ensure the proper use of legal gambling options. This covers sports betting at both retail sportsbooks and through online mobile sportsbook apps.

Responsible gaming can also be expanded to any activity that involves the risk of losing real money. It is vitally important to promote betting within someone’s financial means. This is often times referred to as discretionary funds that can be lost without having any detrimental impact.

The four key aspects of any responsible gambling plan include:

  1. Educational programs to identify problem behavior
  2. Information and assistance implementing these programs
  3. Active participation throughout the gaming industry
  4. Preventing underage gambling

KNOW YOUR LIMITS

The most effective way to promote responsible gambling is through established limits. The first step in the process is to know those limits. This concept goes back to only gambling with discretionary funds that can afford to be lost.

Losing the $50 someone received as a birthday presents falls within the parameters of discretionary gaming funds. Losing this month’s rent or car payment clearly does not.

SET YOUR LIMITS

To properly know betting limits is to actually set those limits. Any real money deposits into any betting account need to be closely monitored. Self-limits can be put in place as part of the tracking process.

If the set limits are exceeded for any reason, this should act as an initial warning sign towards moving away from responsible gambling.

ASSESS YOUR RISK WITH GAMALYZE

Mindway AI has provided VegasInsider with this tool, called Gamalyze, to assess your risk of problem gambling from a neuroscientific perspective. Based on multiple mid- to long-term studies on problem gamblers and the general population, use this tool to give you a better perspective on how you gamble and to access some handy advice on keeping your gambling responsible, and not a habit.

NATIONAL COUNCIL ON PROBLEM GAMBLING

The NCPG was first formed in 1972. The organization’s primary purpose is to be a “national advocate for programs and services to assist people and families affected by problem gambling.”

The NCPG seeks to reduce the financial and social impacts of problem gambling. The stated mission is to “lead state and national stakeholders in the development of comprehensive policy and programs for all those affected by problem gambling.”

PROGRAMS & RESOURCES

A big part of the effort to assist anyone impacted by problem gambling is the development of effective programs and vital resources.

Instant help can be found through the National Problem Gambling Helpline at 800-522-4700. This toll-free number is available anywhere in the US. It is manned on a continual basis 24 hours a day.

One of the existing programs in place is Risk Education for Athletes (REAP). The NCPG designates March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month with ties to college basketball’s March Madness.

The National Conference on Problem Gambling is open to industry regulators, legislators and company executives. The annual conference also features recovering gamblers to provide real life experiences.

HELP & TREATMENT

A vital aspect of promoting responsible gaming is help and treatment when those efforts fall short. Local help is offered on a state-by-state basis. Treatment facilities have been established as part of multiple outreach plans.

Self-help meetings are available through Gamblers Anonymous. Gam-Anon is available for families and loved ones impacted by problem gambling. Meetings are available for in-person attendance as well as nightly phone calls on a daily basis.

Actual call-in numbers and nightly meeting times are available of the NCPG.org website under the heading for the Help & Treatment section.

Financial workbook tools have been developed as a resource for treatment options. Certified gambling counselors are part of a search tool for treatment.

TRAINING & CERTIFICATION

As part of NCPG’s ongoing commitment to problem gambling, the organization offers nationally recognized certification programs. There are also quality educational training programs in place for counselors.

Certifications include International Certified Gambling Counselor (ICGC). Another would be for International Co-Occurring Gambling Specialist Competency Credential (ICOGS).

The NCPG offers an updated calendar of events and trainings. There are training opportunities throughout the year to earn continuing education units.

Another means to acquire vital information tied to training and certification is professional networking. The NCPG offers a LinkedIn page to meet industry peers and exchange news and ideas related to Problem Gambling and Responsible Gaming.

Responsible Gambling FAQRESPONSIBLE GAMBLING FAQ

WHAT IS THE GAMING INDUSTRY DOING TO FINANCIALLY PROMOTE RESPONSIBLE GAMING?

Gaming operators are earmarking a portion of their earnings to help further the cause of responsible gaming efforts. Some companies actively contribute to organizations such as the NCPG.

WHAT ARE A FEW RESPONSIBLE GAMING ONLINE TOOLS?

Gaming companies offer online self-exclusion options that prohibit someone from accessing their site. Betting limits can also be put into place to combat excessive gambling. Cool-off periods are used to restrict access for a set period of time.

ARE THERE MEANS IN PLACE TO TRACK SOMEONE'S ONLINE GAMBLING HISTORY?

A gaming site’s account history will contain a comprehensive summary of each customer’s online activity.

Responsible Gambling ConclusionRESPONSIBLE GAMBLING CONCLUSION

There are some excellent professional resources in place to foster responsible gaming on the national, state and local level. The NCPG is a perfect example of a national organization taking this issue down to the grassroots level in local communities all across the country.

As major stakeholders in the issue of responsible gaming and problem gambling, the entire legal gaming industry has embraced this effort. Through education, training and actual barriers to the misuse of gambling products, legal gaming operators continue to play a vital role.

Most importantly, everyone with a vested interest in promoting responsible gaming while also combating problem gambling needs to be involved.

The prohibition of gambling in any form has proven to be ineffective. There are too many unregulated and illegal options that continue to persist in today’s society. By governing and regulating legal gaming products, the necessary means to promoting responsible gambling can be put into place.

This regulated environment has been designed to better coordinate the effort towards treating problem gambling on a continual and effective basis.

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