March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month, which means it is an ideal time to spotlight some of the tools and resources available to New Jersey bettors.
All forms of legal gambling in the Garden State must offer options for individuals needing help with problem gambling behaviors. That includes casinos, racing, lottery, online, and sports betting.
The state of New Jersey also dedicates annual funding for compulsive gambling programs. For the fiscal year 2021-22, NJ earmarked nearly $884,000 for treatment, education, and prevention programs related to problem gambling behaviors.
According to the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey (CCGNJ), nearly 1 in 20 Americans will have a problem with gambling at some point in their lives.
States with longer histories of legalized gambling and more accessibility, such as NJ, have higher problem or disordered gambling rates.
Problem Gambling Awareness Month in NJ
CCGNJ is a private non-profit operating since the early days of Atlantic City casinos. They can be reached 24/7 by calling 1-800-GAMBLER, or online at www.800gambler.org.
The website includes information about local 12-step meetings, addiction treatment referrals, self-exclusion tools, an assessment quiz, and more.
CCGNJ’s theme for Problem Gambling Awareness Month is “Be Informed – Be Empowered.” The group’s aim is to better equip people “to make smart, informed decisions to prevent the onset or worsening of a gambling problem.”
“The CCGNJ wants those who are struggling with a gambling problem to know that help is available to them and their families,” said Felicia Grondin, executive director of CCGNJ.
Self-exclusion lists, player limits in NJ
Atlantic City casinos and state-licensed racetracks allow for people to join self-exclusion lists. A person can elect for one-year or five-year exclusions from all gambling activities. And this includes online casinos and sportsbooks.
The state Division of Gaming Enforcement website has a link for self-exclusion registration for those who may not want to sign up in person.
New Jersey online casinos and sportsbooks have additional responsible gambling tools to moderate activity. Players can set limits on how much or how often they wager online.
‘Awareness + Action’ in 2022
Problem Gambling Awareness Month is now in its 20th year. The National Council on Problem Gambling is behind the program.
The NCPG estimates nearly two million adults in the United States — roughly 1% of the population — meet the criteria to be classified as having a gambling addiction. Another four million people are believed to be experiencing gaming disorders.
The national campaign for Problem Gambling Awareness Month promotes the theme of “Awareness + Action.”
The annual effort coincides with March Madness, one of the busiest times of the year for U.S. sportsbooks and gamblers.
“March Madness is a time when we see an increase in gambling and more outreach for our services,” said Keith Whyte, executive director of NCPG. “We want to help individuals with problem gambling, and this is the peak time for raising awareness of the issue.”