Sports Betting Industry Launches a New Initiative Addressing Problem Gambling

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Before the NCAA Tournament begins, the gambling industry is launching a new campaign to advocate for responsible sports betting. The recommendations for responsible gambling include sticking to a reasonable budget, keeping it sociable, as well as thoroughly learning about whatever they’re placing bets on. That means, know the stats on the teams, and how to interpret those statistics into a likely outcome.

“Have a Game Plan”

The American Gaming Association recently launched, “Have A Game Plan.” The responsible gambling campaign premiers in hockey arenas in Las Vegas and Washington.

However, the campaign will be launched in other states where sports gambling is legalized. Currently, fourteen states offer legal sports betting, and other states are also considering it.

The campaign acknowledges that sports betting can be a problem for some people; some gamblers are literally addicted, and in their excitement, will gamble away money needed for necessities. The money needed for food, rent or your monthly bills should never be bet on a game.

The gaming association reports that Americans bet over $19 billion on sports, and that’s just with legal sportsbooks, since May 2018. That’s when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down PASPA, clearing the way for sports gambling.

Another tip offered by the “Have a Game Plan” initiative, is only playing with state-licensed and regulated sportsbooks. Legal sportsbooks and other gambling outlets are committed to responsible gambling practices and make sure that their staff receives training on responsible gambling policies. On the other hand, unregulated, illegal sportsbooks don’t even consider responsible gaming, and in fact, make it their business to take advantage of compulsive gamblers.

The Issue of Problem Gambling

If it’s no longer an affordable, fun activity for you or a loved one, it may be time to step away from sports betting. These signs could indicate that it’s time to step away from gambling.

  • You engage in gambling for longer and longer amounts of time
  • You lie about your level of sports betting
  • You often skip work or school to gamble
  • You neglect your personal or family responsibilities to gamble
  • You use sports betting as an emotional escape
  • You gamble with money you need for paying bills
  • You believe the “big win” will bring your gambling under control

If you’re worried about having a gambling problem, you can call the National Council on Problem Gambling’s 24-hour confidential hotline at 1-800-522-4700.

The executive director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, Neva Pryor, reported that calls to New Jersey’s 1-800-GAMBLER helpline shot up more than 27% over the previous year. Of those callers, more than 14% had a problem controlling their gambling on sports.

“This is a critical time for sports betting in the United States,” remarked Bill Miller, CEO, and president of the gambling industry’s trade group. “By the end of the year, around 100 million Americans will be able to legally bet on sports in their state. It’s vitally important that the gaming industry, as well as our partners in the sports betting industry, proactively equip our customers with the tools they need to gamble in a responsible manner.”

The first campaign includes advertising on billboards and signs near the ice at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Placement of the signage around the ice means the message is likely to be seen on TV broadcasts and photos of the match. Likewise, the campaign will have illuminated signs lining the pedestrian walkways at Washington’s Capital One Arena.

“When we talk about legal sports betting, nothing is more important than responsibility,” noted Jim Van Stone. Van Stone is the president of Monumental Sports and Entertainment, the company that owns the Washington Capitols and the Capital One Arena.

While legalized gambling has helped fill the tax coffers of states where it’s legal, unfortunately, it’s also drained the bank accounts of some gamblers.


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