The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has announced a groundbreaking responsible gambling initiative in partnership with online casino operators. This program is aimed at identifying and addressing problematic betting behaviors before they become a serious issue for players.
The initiative will leverage an existing provision that requires online casino operators in New Jersey to maintain a comprehensive database of every bet made by every player for a period of 10 years. By analyzing this data, the DGE and operators can identify potentially problematic gambling behaviors, such as frequent or excessive betting.
New Responsible Gaming Initiative in NJ
This proactive, targeted outreach will coexist with the existing self-exclusion system, which allows players to voluntarily ban themselves from online gambling for a set period of time.
“Under the new initiative, a gambler exhibiting warning signs will be approached using various circumstance-dependent interventions, including progressive responses if the indications of a potential gambling disorder keep recurring after attempts are made to assist and address the problem.”
This program enumerates the red flags that online casinos (like HardRock and Ocean Casino) should beware of:
- Players whose gambling time increases from week to week.
- Bettors who repeatedly self-impose cool-off periods from gaming.
- Those who wager until they have less than one dollar in their accounts.
- Players who regularly access the self-exclusion page on the operator’s website without ultimately executing an exclusion.
- Multiple deposits in a short period.
- Multiple requests in a 24-hour span to increase the limits on deposits or losses.
Notably, whether a player triggers a red flag under this program depends on their previous behaviors. This means that a customer’s betting frequency could increase due to problematic play, but it could also be due to sport seasonality, a vacation, or any other circumstance.
While it is important to cast a wide net to identify potential problem gamblers, it’s equally important not to cast the net too wide. The DGE is taking this into account to ensure that the initiative is effective in identifying genuine cases of problematic gambling behavior.
However, there is a major shortcoming in the program – it doesn’t track customer behaviors across online casinos or gambling verticals. This is a concern because at-risk gamblers are known to wager across multiple platforms and on various gambling products. This means that a problem gambler who has self-excluded from one operator’s platform could still access other platforms and continue their gambling behavior.
The DGE believes that this initiative will provide an important new layer of protection for online casino players in New Jersey. While the state has long been at the forefront of responsible gambling measures, this program represents an innovative new approach to identifying and addressing potential problems before they escalate.
How will the Regulators Intervene?
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement’s new responsible gambling initiative includes a series of interventions designed to help players with problematic play. When the system flags a player, they will receive a Level 1 automated message containing responsible gaming resources. If the problematic play persists, the player will be required to watch a Level 2 video tutorial explaining available resources before being allowed to continue gambling.
If the problematic play continues even after the tutorial, the operator’s responsible gambling team will reach out to the player directly for a Level 3 intervention. The aim of these interventions is to alert players to problematic play and offer educational resources.
It’s important to note that players will not be prohibited from betting regardless of how they interact with the program. However, their account will be frozen until they watch the Level 2 video, and there is no opt-out option for this requirement. This approach meets the requirement of a ban and ensures that players receive the necessary information to make informed decisions about their gambling behaviors.