The gaming industry is experiencing a remarkable period of growth, with year-over-year revenue records, the rapid expansion of legal sports betting and the promise of industry modernization.
Core to this success—and its continuation—is the industry’s commitment to responsible gaming. Our business depends on it. Our customers count on it. And the American Gaming Association, on behalf of our members, is always looking for ways to improve it.
The Responsible Gambling Collaborative (RG Collaborative), of which the AGA is a proud member, is taking meaningful steps to chart a new course for responsible gaming. In a first-of-its-kind effort, casino gaming industry organizations have joined with academics, researchers and advocacy groups to outline a unified position through the development of the Responsible Gambling Effectiveness Principles:
- Support funding for research and evaluation
- Support funding for problem gambling treatment
- Help patrons make informed choices about their gambling
- 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
- Confirm gambling-related business practices that encourage responsible gambling
- Equip consumers with the tools they need to gamble responsibly and prevent problem gambling behavior
Each principle is paired with recommendations as to how regulators, policymakers, experts, advocates, industry and other stakeholders can take steps to implement these ideas. While only a starting point, the effectiveness principles are meant to spark discussion, encourage collaboration, and generate new insights about the most effective ways to foster responsible gaming, as well as prevent and address problem gambling.
Directly supportive of the first and second principles, the RG Collaborative conducted a state-by-state analysis to better understand whether funding from states’ gaming tax proceeds are appropriately spent as they are designated. The research found that fewer than half of the 14 states reviewed spent the allocated money on responsible gaming or problem gambling issues, while the other states were either unclear or unlikely to have spent the money for its intended use. It is clear that there is still work to be done to ensure allocated tax revenue is being appropriately spent.
The effectiveness principles, along with the RG Collaborative, demonstrate that there is no shortage of interest and desire to encourage and promote responsible gaming. The AGA looks forward to working alongside the RG Collaborative to build upon these findings and chart a unified approach to responsible gaming for the future.