New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin and Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) Director David Rebuck announced two new tools June 12 to assist problem gamblers in the Garden State: a dedicated hotline and a virtual option to self-exclude from gaming activities.
Any gambler who wants to self-exclude from wagering can now contact DGE via a new, dedicated and toll-free phone number (1-833-788-4DGE) to learn about and initiate the process.
Through that hotline, users can set up an in-person appointment with trained DGE staff or take advantage of a new video conference option with department personnel. Either avenue allows patrons to self-exclude themselves from online gambling or both online and in-person gambling, with the new video conference option eliminating a barrier to complete the process without having to leave the house.
Both newly announced tools build on efforts that state officials have rolled out over the course of 2023, which NJBIZ has extensively reported on.
Earlier this year, a Responsible Gaming Initiative was introduced to monitor player behavior, using data already captured by operators to look for any red flags that would indicate a gambling disorder. Then, during April’s East Coast Gaming Congress in Atlantic City, Platkin announced another set of initiatives to combat the issue, including new advertising standards for operators and the establishment of DGE’s first responsible gaming coordinator.
In early May, Deputy Attorney General Jamie McKelvey was appointed to that role, where she will be responsible for the development, oversight and implementation of DGE’s existing responsible gaming programs as well as future initiatives. McKelvey will engage with licensees and collaborate with different government agencies about the research and operation of programs designed to prevent and treat problem gaming behavior. She will also collaborate with problem-gambling organizations to identify best practices for prevention, education, awareness and outreach to those at risk.
New Jersey has always been a national leader in gaming … And we are now focusing on making our pioneering state the standard in responsible gaming practices.
— New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin
DGE is also preparing to launch an updated Responsible Gaming landing page that will serve as a central portal with responsible gaming information, such as:
“New Jersey has always been a national leader in gaming, as the first to allow casino gambling outside Nevada and the first to launch internet gaming. And we are now focusing on making our pioneering state the standard in responsible gaming practices,” said Platkin in a press release. “The efforts announced today underscore our commitment to helping problem gamblers by expanding the entry points for self-exclusion and other methods to receive assistance.”
Rebuck hopes these new tools will help to further reduce the risk of problem gambling.
“By promoting responsible gaming practices, we can keep gaming an enjoyable and entertaining activity for all,” he said.