The Responsible Gambling Collaborative (RG Collaborative) announced new effectiveness principles for fostering responsible gambling and preventing problem gambling, as well as a state-by-state study on the allocation of responsible gambling funding on January 11, in coordination with the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) Winter Meeting.

The Responsible Gambling Effectiveness Principles, which provide a framework and recommendations for preventing problem gambling (PG) and promoting responsible gambling (RG) solutions, represent a first-ever attempt within the U.S. to create a consensus statement endorsed by academics, researchers, advocacy groups and casino gaming industry organizations.

“The Responsible Gambling Effectiveness Principles are meant to spark discussion, encourage collaboration, and generate new insights into this critical area,” said Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling. “We encourage all stakeholders—policymakers, regulators, advocates, researchers and industry—to build upon these fundamental principles, inserting evidence-based activities and regulations that support safe, responsible gambling.”

The Responsible Gambling Effectiveness Principles are:

  1. Support funding for research and evaluation.
  2. Support funding for problem gambling treatment.
  3. Help patrons make informed choices about their gambling.
  4. Ensure every company has a responsible gambling plan and industry employees understand their role and responsibility in fostering responsible gambling and preventing problem gambling behavior.
  5. Confirm gambling-related business practices encourage responsible gambling.
  6. Equip consumers with the tools they need to gamble responsibly and prevent problem gambling behavior.

Directly supportive of the first and second principles, the RG Collaborative conducted a study to better understand whether funding allocated for RG and PG from states’ gaming tax proceeds are appropriately spent as they are designated. The analysis showed states’ handling of RG/PG tax funding fell broadly into three categories in the most recently examined fiscal year(s):

  • Six states (IN, MD, NJ, NV, NY, PA) likely spent the allocated tax money on RG/PG issues.
  • Four states (KS, LA, MO, OK) likely did not spend the allocated tax money on RG/PG issues.
  • Four states (CA, IA, MS, OH) are unclear. In these cases, funds may be partially diverted to other issues, the state has recently rolled back the dedicated funding streams for RG/PG altogether, or never had a dedicated funding stream.

“While much has been achieved in addressing problem gambling, the Responsible Gambling Collaborative aspires to make even greater strides toward smarter policies and better practices,” said Alan Feldman, distinguished fellow – responsible gaming at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas – International Gaming Institute. “As states are one of the main beneficiaries of gaming revenue, it is essential that designated funding for responsible gambling is used for its intended purpose.”

RG Collaborative participants include the American Gaming Association, Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers, Association of Problem Gambling Service Administrators, Harvard School of Public Health, National Center for Responsible Gaming, National Council on Problem Gambling, National Indian Gaming Association, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling, North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, Responsible Gambling Council, University of Nevada, Las Vegas – International Gaming Institute, University of Memphis, Washington State University and Yale School of Medicine.a