NJ Launches $300K Responsible Gambling Campaign As March Madness Tips Off

Written By David Danzis on March 21, 2024
NJ launches responsible gambling awareness campaign in time for March Madness tipoff

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month, and New Jersey is taking a proactive approach to spreading the message year-round.

New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin announced a new statewide campaign to raise public awareness about available resources for problem gambling and support for responsible gambling in NJ. According to a press release, Whippany-based Marketsmith will oversee the $300,000 campaign with advisement from the NJOAG and NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement.

The primarily digital campaign will launch during March Madness and continue through Super Bowl LIX in 2025.

In the press release, Platkin says:

“As we learn more and more about the effects of problem gambling, especially following the legalization of sports wagering, we have an obligation to provide resources and support to the public on responsible gaming. This work starts with ensuring awareness of the many tools available to assist individuals who struggle with gambling, including comprehensive prevention strategies and treatment and recovery services. Our campaign will highlight the responsible gaming measures put in place within our office and available through our partners and stakeholders to assist those in need of help.”

What’s behind NJ’s new responsible gambling campaign

The campaign will promote responsible gambling, which the OAG says “refers to a set of policies and practices that aim to promote gambling experiences while minimizing the risk of harm to individuals and society as a whole.”

According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, roughly 1% of the US population meets the criteria of being a problem gambler.

Platkin says that legalization has “moved gambling out of the shadows” and acknowledges that “does not create a health issue” for the majority of the public.

“However, it is incumbent upon us to provide stronger solutions for those who do struggle with gambling, whether that means through comprehensive prevention and support strategies, such as our responsible gaming initiatives, or stronger treatment and recovery services for problem gamblers.”

What’s more, the campaign will encourage gamblers to utilize some of the responsible gaming limits and controls that all NJ online casinos and NJ mobile sportsbooks are required to have.

Awareness key in protecting online gambling customers

The state also wants customers to be aware of unregulated gambling sites, which do not offer responsible gambling tools such as self-exclusion lists or deposit limits. The campaign’s messages will encourage the public to “vet before they bet” by checking the list of licensed operators on NJDGE’s website.

Mary Jo Flaherty, interim director of the DGE, said:

“The Division of Gaming Enforcement enhanced and improved our responsible gaming resources in 2023, and we are excited for the increased awareness that this initiative will bring to the public. We are eager to share more information about how individuals can empower themselves with responsible gaming tools, whether that means becoming more self-aware of their behavior, taking more breaks from gaming, or deciding to stay away from a game for a longer period.”

Photo by AP Photo/Darron Cummings
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David Danzis

David Danzis is the lead writer for PlayNJ. He is a New Jersey native and honors graduate of Rutgers University. As a newspaper reporter for the New Jersey Herald and Press of Atlantic City, David earned statewide awards for his coverage of politics, government, education, sports, and business. Today, he is PlayNJ’s Atlantic City “insider” and gaming industry expert on casinos, sports betting, and online gambling. David lives in Atlantic County, NJ with his wife and two children.

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