New Jersey DGE expands RG rules and will hire FT

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New Jersey’s sports betting regulations have always been held up as something of a gold standard when it comes to US markets, but the state continues to update, innovate, and improve its regulatory efforts.

Such is the case with Thursday’s announcement that the Department of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) along with New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin will be expanding both its responsible gambling rules and its infrastructure.

Platkin announced the plan during the keynote of the East Coast Gaming Congress, which will include a new position, the Responsible Gaming Coordinator. Reporting directly to DGE Director David Rebuck, the role will work to refine the interactions between the department and operators to improve RG efforts. Per the release, the expectation is the role will be filled by an experienced attorney.

“As New Jersey’s gaming and sports wagering industries continue to grow and mature, so do our obligations to assist patrons who are at risk for problem gambling,” said Attorney General Platkin. “By establishing a dedicated, senior-level position within the Division of Gaming Enforcement to focus on responsible gaming, we are sending a clear message that we take this work seriously – and so should the industry. Our other initiatives announced today will help protect consumers and make it easier for individuals to access the help they need when their gaming behavior becomes problematic.”

“We have seen tremendous growth in sports wagering and online gaming in New Jersey,” said DGE Director David Rebuck. “In the face of that boom, we have a duty to protect the public from advertising that could be misleading or harmful. And for those in the grip of gambling addiction, we need to offer as many exit ramps from their condition as possible.”

The creation of the position is a big step forward, but not necessarily an unprecedented one. In Massachusetts for example, Mark Vander Linden has served as the Director of Research and Responsible Gambling for the past 10 years.

Hot on the heels of the announcement of the formation of the Coalition for Responsible Sports Betting Advertising comprised of most of the major leagues offering their suggestions for more responsible gambling ads.

The new 15-point standards include the following measures that apply to both operators and marketing affiliates:

  • No language to imply guaranteed wins or risk-free bets, “particularly when patrons are required to deposit their own funds”
  • No implication of winning streaks
  • No ads featuring people under the age of 21
  • All operators must allow a clear opt-out process for direct advertising
  • A required training program for an operator’s marketing employees, including executives, to ensure adherence to these guidelines