A Perspective on Responsible Gaming by one of UNLV’s Top Regulation Experts
Jennifer Roberts is the Associate Director of the International Center for Gaming Regulation at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Today, she’s discussing how technology influences responsible gambling practices.
The International Center for Gaming Regulation is a three-year-old program. It promotes best practices in gaming regulation by educating regulators and conducting thorough research to improve the industry on an international level.
How Technology Paves the Way for the Responsible Customer
Since sports wagering has become legal in various US states, the ICGR has grown more and more involved in sports betting research and educational programming. Sports betting is easily integrated with modern technology, and Roberts argues that this smart system is a great asset for the industry.
People used to be able to sit at a slot machine or a blackjack table and spend a few hundred dollars as a fairly anonymous player. They were far less able to track their overall gambling records, whereas nowadays an individual can easily request information about their digital sports betting history. Customers can track how much they wager and how often, and this gives them more control over their own gambling behaviors.
Roberts notes that while technology can also help operators restrict people who are prone to bad behavior, gambling addiction is a serious medical issue, so the industry should display caution in trying to identify people as problematic. Casino staff likely aren’t medically trained, so it would be inappropriate for them to use technology to overstep boundaries and diagnose clientele.
In any case, customers are able to self-exclude from gambling and from promotional marketing materials from casinos; some states have exclusion lists that can last as little as one to five years and as long as a lifetime. While some people who self-exclude decide to return to court and appeal their decision, ultimately, it’s up to them to set their own boundaries and it’s up to the casino to respect them, regardless of what technology comes into play.
Responsibility from Everybody
As acceptance for gambling grows in conjunction with the expansion of gaming, the future of the industry includes more responsible gaming messaging, further research on gambling addiction, and more treatment plans to help those in need of them. While Roberts doesn’t believe that there’s anything missing from the responsible gaming conversation right now, she firmly believes that this conversation needs to continue.
All casinos in Nevada are required to meet certain responsible gambling measures. Some are directly compliant, posting helplines on their websites and sticking brochures near their ATMs, and others go a bit further by embedding responsible gaming into their corporate culture. Roberts is most impressed by Nevada’s commitment to helping those with problem gambling addiction through the diversion court system and looks forward to the industry taking more proactive steps in the future.
“I think that it’s exciting, actually, to see that there’s proactive measures being taken by operators to address problem gambling,” says Roberts. “With the new gambling court, it’s great to see those actions being taken and discussed and I just think those conversations still need to be had…We need to set the standard and be a role model for jurisdictions that are still looking at continuing to develop their regulatory system.”
Listen to Jennifer’s interview in the NO LINE podcast by clicking here.
Responsible Gaming Education Week
Responsible Gaming Education Week (RGEW) was created by the AGA in 1998 to increase awareness of problem gambling among gaming industry employees and customers and to promote responsible gaming nationwide.
The AGA and the entire gaming industry realize that education is essential to promoting responsible play and increasing awareness of gambling disorders, and RGEW provides gaming companies with an opportunity to expand on work they do every day educating employees and patrons about the issue.