The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), the only national nonprofit organization that seeks to minimize the economic and social costs associated with gambling addiction, today released its 2022 consumer protection report. The report based on the NCPG’s Internet Responsible Gambling Standards evaluated the regulations applicable in the states with legalized iGaming.
2022 consumer protection report:
The report titled ”U.S. Online Responsible Gaming Regulations: An Evaluation Against National Council on Problem Gambling Standards” finds that the regulations in four of the seven states with legal iGaming operations dramatically fail to comply with NCPG’s minimum standards required to consider states practicing responsible gambling.
Four states show non-compliance:
According to the report, operators in Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, and West Virginia do not provide players with sufficient responsible gambling protection as the respective IGaming regulations fail to provide suitable mandates to iGaming operators. On the other hand, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania have such regulations in place that meet most of the standards listed in the IRGS.
Internet Responsible Gaming Standards (IRGS):
Though, these three states still do not have full compliance with the set of norms brought by IRGS, which prescribes such iGaming standards for consumers that these may be confident that any operator’s platform they choose has the responsible gambling tools necessary to assist consumers to play safely. Internet Responsible Gambling Standards, developed in 2012, contain specific recommendations in the areas of policy, staff training, advertising, promotions, and more, as well as assistance to players to recognize and avoid gambling problems.
IRGS regularly updated:
Having recognized their necessity for the iGaming industry, the National Council on Problem Gambling developed the IRGS as a guide for all parties involved in internet gambling, including operators, regulators, advocates, and the public. Since its initial development in 2012, the IRGS has been regularly updated to reflect the current conditions of online wagering operations and their compliance with responsible gaming standards, as well as the latest trends in consumer protection and technology.
Focus on prevention:
The Washington DC-based National Council on Problem Gambling advocates that the most ethical and effective response to gambling addiction issues is derived from the comprehensive public health approach focused on prevention, education, treatment, and research of gambling problems. The latest research focuses on youth and finds that early participation or exposure to gaming increases the possibility to develop gambling problems later in life. Keith Whyte, NCPG Executive Director, said: “Youth gambling has emerged as a significant and growing public health issue.”
Responsible gambling recommendations:
Therefore the NCPG considers responsible gambling standards a crucial part of this strategy and recommends that regulated states or future jurisdictions adopt IRGS to ensure the best consumer protection for the benefit of all stakeholders in the iGaming industry. Many of them do support the NCPG‘s strategy. Whyte also said: “We are thrilled to have such support from the lottery community, as well as the non-lottery participants, for the 2022 Gift Responsibly Campaign as we work to minimize gambling-related harm.”
This is in line with the NCPG public recommendation: ”If you or someone you know may have a gambling problem, contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline, which offers hope and help, without stigma or shame. Call or text 1-800-GAMBLER or visit www.1800gamblerchat.org. Help is available 24/7. About the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and it is free and confidential.”