The Responsible Gambling Collaborative has unveiled new effectiveness principles for fostering and preventing problem gambling, as well as a state-by-state study on the allocation of such funding.
Revealed at the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States Winter Meeting, they are designed to provide a framework and recommendations for preventing problem gambling and promoting relevant solutions.
It is said that the move represents “a first-ever attempt within the United States to create a consensus statement endorsed by academics, researchers, advocacy groups and casino gaming industry organisations”.
“The responsible gambling effectiveness principles are meant to spark discussion, encourage collaboration and generate new insights into this critical area,” explained Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling.
“We encourage all stakeholders—policymakers, regulators, advocates, researchers, and industry—to build upon these fundamental principles, inserting evidence-based activities and regulations that support safe, responsible gambling.”
The RG effectiveness principles include support funding for research and evaluation as well as problem gambling treatment, help patrons make informed choices about their gambling, ensure every company has a responsible gambling plan and industry employees understand their role and responsibility in fostering responsible gambling and preventing problem gambling behaviour, confirm gambling-related business practices encourage responsible gambling and equip consumers with the tools they need to gamble responsibly and prevent problem gambling behaviour.
Directly supportive of the first and second principles, the RG Collaborative conducted a study to develop an understanding of whether funding allocated for responsible and problem gambling from states’ gaming tax proceeds are appropriately spent as they are designated.
This showed that Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Nevada, New York and Pennsylvania likely spent the allocated tax money on RG/PG issues, with Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Oklahoma said to have likely not have done.
Furthermore, California, Iowa, Mississippi and Ohio are said to be unclear, with funds potentially partially diverted to other issues, state’s having recently rolled back the dedicated funding streams altogether or had never had a dedicated funding stream.
“I can think of no better way to lead our industry into a new decade than renewing our commitment to effectively promote responsible gaming and tackle problem gambling head on,” Bill Miller, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, said of the RG Collaborative and its principles.
“The Responsible Gambling Collaborative has an important role to play as we chart a new course for responsible gaming, and the AGA is proud to be a part of it. The research released today provides important insight into the allocation of funding for essential programs. As the top benefactor of gaming taxes, it’s troubling to see that state responsible gaming funds are not always used for their intended purpose.”