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New Jersey Publishes Online Gambling Market Responsible Gambling Study!

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Staff member
Jan 17, 2008
New Jersey gaming regulators have published the first research report into the impact of the state’s regulated online gambling market on problem gambling.

The report (viewable here), which was submitted by Rutgers Center for Gambling Studies’ Lia Nower, covers the first full year of New Jersey’s online market. The study is the first of four annual reports that Gov. Chris Christie insisted upon when he approved the state’s online gambling legislation in February 2013.

Of the three states that have launched regulated online gambling operations, Nower says New Jersey’s regulations are “the most clearly directed toward aiding consumers in making informed choices about their gambling behavior and promoting responsible gambling (RG).”

In overall terms, Nower says “very few” gamblers utilized any of the RG features. Nower also said that the data couldn’t distinguish players who selected these options at multiple online skins, meaning the actual take-up rate could be even lower than the numbers indicate

Nower suggested that a possible reason for the low uptake of RG options was that they are “difficult to access and to understand.” Nower said most skins “place some or all of the features within the player’s account tab, which may or may not be visible” from the home page. Nower also said the type in these messages was “very small” and explanations of the different features “severely limited.” Activity session clocks are “difficult to find, must less to see.”

Nower would like to see an RG features “educational component” supplied to players at the time of sign-up, which could only be completed once players had chosen to opt-in or out of various RG choices. Nower also suggested a more restrictive Facebook-style alternative that would automatically set default limits, which a player would then have to manually change.

Nower wants to see a standardized presentation of the RG options across all New Jersey sites, such as a large “RG” icon in the same area of the home page of all skins, with links to an RG page with standardized content. A session clock could also be located in a similar position on each page, perhaps accompanied by an RG logo with links.

Nower believes these changes will not only increase New Jersey online gamblers’ use of RG features, it could provide a template that could be utilized “with new providers or with new state compacts should internet gaming continue to expand offerings and encompass more jurisdictions.”

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