This Monday, the American Gaming Association (AGA) released a new suggestion, asking gaming businesses to integrate national gambling helplines in their national advertising efforts.
While the majority of consumers enjoy gambling as a sort of enjoyment, the helplines – which number in the dozens – provide critical assistance to those who are having problems with their gaming participation.
The new AGA policy statement urges operators to simplify standards for national advertising campaigns, allowing them to improve the reading of disclaimers and better promote problem gambling resources.
Vital resource for those needing help
Jessica Feil, Vice President of Government Relations and Gaming Policy Counsel, stated: “Problem gambling helplines are a vital resource for those in need of help. Unfortunately, lengthy lists of state-specific helplines on national advertisements create barriers for those seeking help when we should be making these critical resources easily accessible.
“This approach – allowing the use of a national helpline in national advertising – is the most effective way to protect players.”
The inclusion of problem gambling disclaimers in published and aired ads is governed by state law. This is a necessary service for localised advertising, but it causes inconsistency and confusion in national advertising.
Problem gamblers suffer from a variety of repercussions, including a loss of consciousness. Multiple national and state-specific hotline numbers must be displayed, which can result in more than a dozen phone numbers in difficult-to-read typefaces, limiting accessibility to people in need.
Too many hotlines cause confusion
According to the AGA, it also causes customer uncertainty. Because many problem gamblers may not know which number to call, having many hotline lines causes consumer confusion. Is it, for example, dependent on where they live or where they gamble?
The group also pointed out that requiring problem gamblers to use a call-in helpline ignores more current crisis options such as text messaging and chat support.
“As gaming expands across the country, it’s imperative that our industry continues protecting all customers. We believe there shouldn’t be obstacles to help for those who need it, and a modernization of the helpline system for national advertising is a good place to start,” added Feil.