The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) has introduced its Responsible Gaming Principles for Sports Gambling Legislation, aimed at establishing a basis for new regulations and legislation, should legalised sports betting become a reality later this year.

Centred around the Christie v NCAA case, it sees the state of New Jersey challenge the constitutionality of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), which could potentially see the roll out of sports betting across the country.

Establishing a number of principles, which it urges members and stakeholders to implement with their state and federal representatives, the NCPG also stated a belief that “the equivalent of 1% of revenue from legalised sports betting should be dedicated to problem gambling services.”

Should the Supreme Court of the United States return a favourable decision regarding PASPA, a number of key points for legislators and regulators have been established, which the NCPG believes could minimise potential harm and problems that could ensue, as a result of the likely increase in gambling participation that could follow:  

  • Ensure that any expansion of sports gambling includes dedicated funds to prevent and treat gambling addiction.
  • Require sports betting operators to implement responsible gaming programs which include comprehensive employee training, self-exclusion, ability to set limits on time and money spent betting, specific requirements for the inclusion of help/prevention messages in external marketing.
  • Assign a regulatory agency to enforce the regulations and requirements that are enacted.
  • Conduct surveys of the prevalence of gambling addiction prior to expansion and at regular periods thereafter in order to monitor impacts of legalised sports betting and have data that will support evidence-based mitigation efforts.
  • Establish a consistent minimum age for sports gambling and related fantasy games.

The NCPG goes on to detail a number of points it believes could be up for discussion surrounding the problem gambling debate should a sports gambling roll out ensue, including responsible gaming programs and plans, self exclusion, minimum ages and the potential introduction of technology and online gambling.