One of the largest legal gambling markets in the United States is taking additional measures to assist those who may be suffering from dangerous or compulsive behaviors.
New Jersey officials recently announced a new dedicated hotline and a virtual option for gamblers to voluntarily exclude themselves from the state’s gambling activities. By either calling the toll-free number, 1-833-788-4DGE, or participating in a video conference with NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement staff, an individual can opt out of in-person and online forms of gambling.
The actions announced this week by the DGE and the NJ Office of the Attorney General are the latest in a series of efforts the state has taken to mitigate problem gambling.
More NJ responsible gambling resources added
New Jersey is a gambling-friendly state. There are nine Atlantic City casinos, more than 20 legal online gambling sites, in-person and mobile sports betting, a state-sanctioned lottery and horse racing.
In 2022, gross gambling revenue from AC, internet gaming and legal sports betting generated $5.21 billion, according to state data. That figure was 10% higher than the $4.74 billion posted in 2021.
In a press release about the new hotline and virtual service, NJ Attorney General Matthew Platkin said the following:
“New Jersey has always been a national leader in gaming, as the first to allow casino gambling outside Nevada and the first to launch Internet gaming. And we are now focusing on making our pioneering state the standard in responsible gaming practices. The efforts announced today underscore our commitment to helping problem gamblers by expanding the entry points for self-exclusion and other methods to receive assistance.”
Players can self-exclude from internet gaming by filling out an online application and completing a verification process on the DGE website. A meeting is required for self-exclusion from brick-and-mortar casino gambling.
NJ taking big swings at responsible, problem gambling
The state has been taking a proactive approach to both problem gambling and NJ responsible gambling, which are two distinct ideas.
Gambling operators in NJ were among the early adopters of two-step authentication for online and mobile players. Regulators did not force operators to do this. But the subtle messaging coming from the NJDGE made clear it was expected.
Then, the NJDGE rolled out new regulations for online casino and sportsbook operators. NJ now requires internet gambling companies to monitor user activity for defined “red flags” and intervene when necessary.
In April, the state attorney general announced a series of responsible gambling initiatives aimed at curbing excessive or misleading marketing. Platkin unveiled those efforts during his keynote address at the East Coast Gaming Congress at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.
That package also included the creation of the state’s first Responsible Gaming Coordinator, a position currently held by Deputy Attorney General Jamie McKelvey.
The DGE is also preparing to launch an updated Responsible Gaming landing page on its website, according to the press release. The RG page contains a variety of information, including:
- Self-exclusion information
- Annual reports by Rutgers University examining the impact of Internet gaming and sports wagering and analyze patterns of play across all players and bets during the year
- DGE’s responsible gaming best practices for operators
- DGE’s responsible gaming regulations
“We hope the new tools being unveiled today will help to further reduce the risk of problem gambling,” said NJDGE Director David Rebuck. “By promoting responsible gaming practices, we can help keep gaming an enjoyable and entertaining activity for all.”