The Responsible Gambling Collaborative (RG Collaborative) is expected to unveil new standards of efficacy to promote responsible gambling and deter problem gambling, as well as a state-by-state report on responsible gambling funding allocation.
The announcement will be made today (11th January), in conjunction with the Winter meeting of the National Council of Gaming States Legislators (NCLGS).
The Responsible Gambling Effectiveness Principles, which provide a structure and guidelines to discourage problem gambling and encourage responsible gambling strategies, represent a first-ever effort within the U.S. to establish a consensus statement supported by scholars, experts, advocacy groups, and organisations from the casino gaming industry.
Keith Whyte, Executive Director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, said: “The Responsible Gambling Effectiveness Principles are meant to spark discussion, encourage collaboration, and generate new insights into this critical area. 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 new set of principles aims at supporting research and evaluation funding; supporting funding for problem gambling treatment; helping patrons make informed choices about their gambling; and ensuring that every business has a responsible gambling plan and industry employees understand their role and responsibility in fostering responsible gambling and preventing gambling behaviour.
They also set out to confirm that business practises related to gambling are encouraging responsible gambling and equipping consumers with the tools they need to play responsibly and prevent gambling behaviour.
Directly endorsing the first and second principles, the RG Collaborative conducted a study to better understand whether the funding allocated to responsible gambling and problem gambling from the gaming tax proceeds of the states is adequately spent as they are designated.
The analysis showed that the handling of RG / PG tax funding by states fell broadly into three categories in the most recent fiscal years reviewed. Six states (IN, MD, NJ, NV, NY, PA) probably spent the allotted tax money on issues with RG / PG. Four states (KS, LA, MO, OK) presumably didn’t spend the tax money allocated to RG / PG problems.
The findings are unknown for a further four States (CA, IA, MS, OH). In these situations, funds may be partly redirected to other problems, the state has recently completely rolled back the dedicated funding sources for RG / PG, or never had a clear funding source.
“While much has been achieved in addressing problem gambling, the Responsible Gambling Collaborative aspires to make even greater strides toward smarter policies and better practices,” said Alan Feldman, distinguished fellow – responsible gaming at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas – International Gaming Institute. “As states are one of the main beneficiaries of gaming revenue, it is essential that designated funding for responsible gambling is used for its intended purpose.”
The American Gaming Association (AGA) is amongst a long list of RG Collaborative partners. Bill Miller, its President and CEO, commented: “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.
“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.”