The American Gaming Association (AGA) is recommending a new approach to national advertising campaigns to allow the use of national gambling help lines to assist problem gamblers.
“Most customers enjoy gambling as a form of entertainment—but for those who no longer find gambling fun, the more than a dozen problem gambling help lines across the country are essential services,” said the AGA in a press statement.
The new AGA policy statement encourages streamlined requirements for national advertising campaigns, which would allow operators to improve disclaimer readability and better highlight problem gambling resources.
“Problem gambling help lines are a vital resource for those in need of help,” said Jessica Feil, the AGA’s vice president of government relations and gaming policy counsel. “Unfortunately, lengthy lists of state-specific help lines on national advertisements create barriers for those seeking help when we should be making these critical resources easily accessible. This approach—allowing the use of a national help line in national advertising—is the most effective way to protect players.”
Each state has its own specific requirements for including problem gambling disclaimers in published and broadcasted advertisements. This is an essential service for localized advertising but creates confusion and inconsistency in national advertising.
According to the AGA, this results in:
- Diminished awareness: Requirements to display multiple national and state-specific help line numbers can result in more than a dozen phone numbers in difficult-to-read fonts, reducing accessibility to those in need.
- Customer confusion: Multiple help line numbers also cause consumer confusion, since many problem gamblers may not know which number is the appropriate number to call—for example, is it based on where they reside or where they are gambling?
- Outdated offering: Requiring problem gamblers to use a call-in help line overlooks more modern services used for crisis assistance, like text messaging and chat support.