As New Jersey looks to legalize casino gaming, Judge Cheryl Moss has reiterated the need for safer gambling tools to take centre stage.
Speaking to Martin Lycka – SVP of Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling at Entain – as part of the Safe Bet Show, Judge Moss touched upon her career in gambling law and her perspective on issues relating to responsible betting and treatment of problem gambling, among other topics.
Building on her own personal experience, she expressed her belief that US states must prioritize safer gambling tools in order to effectively treat problem gambling.
“Legalisation of casino gaming is coming to the state of New Jersey, and there are going to be gambling addiction problems, and we need to take care of that,” she remarked. ”We are not against casinos but we want to help those who are afflicted with that disorder.
“We need to close the gap between the treatment and funding and fund the treatment of those who need it, and also to coexist and open up lines of communication between those that are very vocal about the harmful effects of casinos with those on the other end of the spectrum.”
Judge Moss also delved into the economic costs of gambling addiction to states, noting that some problem gamblers commit crimes in order to fund their habits, often leading to incarceration.
She estimated that it costs around $61,000 a year on average in New Jersey to house a prisoner, including accommodation, meals and clothing, and based on her knowledge of the US courts system – specifically with regards to gambling related crimes – Moss estimated that most convicted criminal gamblers would spend between two and four years behind prison bars.
“That’s almost $180,000, that’s a lot of money for the state of New Jersey,” she commented. ”If we can get them into treatment, then we can talk about the recidivism rate going lower.”
“Hopefully they will get treatment for their gambling addiction and they won’t go back to committing crimes, and for those who have a severe severe gambling disorder that’s why they end up in GPEDC court. abstinence is going to be the most important thing as part of their recovery.
“They won’t be able to gamble. Nationwide, the rate is about 5%, but I know it’s 6% in Nevada alone, because we have more gaming capital. This obviously might be small but every life matters.”