New Jersey now has a statewide responsible gaming coordinator, a newly created position in which the person hired will “handle all issues impacting responsible gaming and ensure progress on existing initiatives,” according to a press release issued Thursday by the state Attorney General’s Office.
The official announcement came during Attorney General Matthew Platkin’s keynote address at the East Coast Gaming Congress in Atlantic City.
“As New Jersey’s gaming and sports wagering industries continue to grow and mature, so do our obligations to assist patrons who are at risk for problem gambling,” Platkin said in the release. “By establishing a dedicated, senior level position within the Division of Gaming Enforcement to focus on responsible gaming, we are sending a clear message that we take this work seriously — and so should the industry.”
Additionally, a new set of initiatives was announced during the conference, mostly having to do with advertising standards. They include:
- Sportsbooks and online casinos will have to prominently display the 1-800-GAMBLER helpline number in their ads.
- There may be no promises of “guaranteed wins” or “risk-free” bets if the player would not be fully compensated for the loss of their funds
- Wagering requirements must be clear in their terms and conditions.
- Advertising is restricted in locations where it would entice those under 21 years of age to play.
- The public should have the ability to swiftly opt out of receiving direct advertising.
‘Duty to protect’
“We have seen tremendous growth in sports wagering and online gaming in New Jersey,” said Division of Gaming Enforcement Director David Rebuck in the release. “In the face of that boom, we have a duty to protect the public from advertising that could be misleading or harmful. And for those in the grip of gambling addiction, we need to offer as many exit ramps from their condition as possible.”
The responsible gaming coordinator — a position yet to be filled — will be an “experienced attorney” who will report directly to the DGE director. Their job is to “identify gaps and problems before engaging with stakeholders to develop recommendations to advance the state’s responsible gaming work.”
Lastly, it was announced the DGE will be creating a video conference option for players who wish to self-exclude, as well as creating a 24/7 helpline dedicated to people who have questions about self-exclusion.
“We congratulate Attorney General Platkin and DGE Director David Rebuck for their continued leadership in responsible gambling. The initiatives announced today further bolster responsible gambling protections and reduce barriers for people seeking help,” Keith Whyte, the executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, said in the release. “We hope regulators across the country will emulate New Jersey, including by working with the National Council on Problem Gambling and our state affiliate chapters, such as the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey.”