NCLGS Unanimously Adopts Resolution On Responsible And Problem Gaming Standards

Responsible gambling (RG) was in the spotlight in Denver, Colorado last week after a committee at the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) 2023 Summer Meeting unanimously approved a problem gambling resolution aimed at helping states develop robust RG standards.

Current NCLGS president Sen. Jon Ford of Indiana, who chairs the Responsible Gaming Committee, spearheaded the resolution effort. He also oversaw the subsequent vote by the NCLGS Executive.

As gaming expands across the US, Ford, in an NCLGS release, said states need assistance tackling problem gambling.

Gaming in the United States is authorized and regulated at the state level, but states need guidance as gaming grows. This two-year effort by legislators is the first to leverage what we have learned for the benefit of our members as they grapple with this critical need.

States Must Protect Vulnerable Citizens

The RG committee approved the resolution at NCLGS’ summer meeting, one of the largest gatherings of legislators and regulators from US  gaming states.

The resolution includes 16 suggestions meant to help states address gambling addiction and responsible gambling issues. Suggested strategies span prevention and harm reduction, public awareness, intervention and treatment, research, adequate funding, and more.

Protection of vulnerable citizens is necessary, said NCLGS president-elect Shawn Fluharty of West Virginia:

The extraordinary, ongoing expansion of gaming into new forms across multiple states demands that lawmakers take necessary steps to protect their most vulnerable citizens. This resolution will help them meet that critical goal.

Notably, the resolution was over two years in the making. Additionally, more than 50 legislators, regulators, clinicians, community-based practitioners, and industry professionals offered expert input.

According to the release, the 16-point resolution includes suggestions for:

  • One accredited national problem gambling helpline number for all jurisdictions.
  • State or jurisdictional advertising guidelines should ensure that marketing only targets those of legal gambling age and lacks special appeal to consumers at the greatest risk for gambling problems. Guidelines also call for auditing and monitoring content from third-party marketing affiliates.
  • Policies and programs that enable customers to temporarily or permanently discontinue play through self-exclusion programs. Players should be able to exclude statewide or across multiple jurisdictions for multiple term lengths.
  • Coordination of gambling exclusion lists to prevent people experiencing gambling problems from problematic play in other states.

NCLGS has indicated it will publish the complete resolution at www.nclgs.org.

As of publication, the full text was not yet available.

NCLGS VP Urges States to Consider RG Advice

Primarily, NCLGS is concerned with gaming regulation.

It is also the only organization of state lawmakers regularly meeting to address legislative gaming issues. Meetings provide legislators with necessary, balanced information on cutting-edge gaming topics.

Organizationally, NCLGS neither promotes nor opposes gambling. Rather, members chair or sit on committees responsible for gambling regulation in their respective states.

NCLGS works to educate legislators on gaming issues and participate in public policy development in regulated states. The organization has also represented state gaming interests in Congress and before the federal executive branch when appropriate.

Committees within the organization also tackle big gaming topics; lotteries, pari-mutuels, and casinos. Other committees cover state-federal relations, Indian gaming, and telephone and internet wagering.

In this case, the responsible gambling committee under Ford led the charge.

Notably, however, the resolution only provides a model of legislation for regulated jurisdictions as the standards are non-binding.

Still, confronting problem gambling is a top organizational priority, NCLGS vice president Christie Carpino (Connecticut) said in the release.

Carpino urged states to heed the available guidance:

Addressing problem gambling is at the top of the agenda for all of us at NCLGS. We urge all states that offer gaming to consider the guidance offered in this historic resolution.

About the Author

Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil (she/they) is a Nova Scotia-based writer and editor, and a lead writer at Bonus. Here she focuses on news relevant to online casinos, while specializing in responsible gambling coverage, legislative developments, gambling regulations, and industry-related legal fights.
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