As we close out the first quarter of 2019, the acceptance of gaming as a form of mainstream entertainment is at an all-time high. New types of gaming are spreading across the country, and the overwhelming majority of Americans recognize the important role the gaming industry plays in state and local economies as a job creator and driver of tax revenues.
This shift in attitude is no accident—it is the result of our industry’s steadfast commitment to promoting responsibility in gaming.
The American Gaming Association recently conducted comprehensive polling to capture Americans’ attitudes toward the gaming industry and its commitment to promoting responsibility in gaming—and the results were striking.
According to the new research, 90 percent of casino gamblers are actively practicing responsible gaming. Patrons report setting budgets and sticking to them. And, they are aware of responsible gaming resources at significantly high rates.
This research also found that 88 percent of American adults view gambling as an acceptable form of entertainment, 80 percent say the gaming industry is a job creator and six in 10 Americans believe casinos help their local economies. These findings indicate that our unwavering commitment to promoting responsibility to our customers, our employees and our communities is resonating.
Continuing to ensure that our customers understand how to enjoy our products responsibly, and how to access help if they need it, is more important than ever as gaming’s popularity and accessibility continue to grow with the expansion of legal sports betting.
Consumers in eight states now have the ability to enjoy wagering on their favorite teams in a regulated environment. The seven new legal sports betting jurisdictions surpassed Nevada in legal handle for the first time ever in January, and with dozens more states actively considering legislation to legalize sports betting, millions of Americans could soon have the opportunity to enjoy gaming in new ways. As such, it’s our priority to foster responsible play and prevent problem gambling by providing the appropriate funding and resources that give all patrons the tools to wager responsibly.
Over the past decade, the industry has engaged in several ongoing efforts to promote responsibility in gaming. In fact, the U.S. gaming industry commits more than $300 million to responsible gaming annually, supporting education, training and rehabilitation programs across the country. AGA members adhere to the association’s Responsible Gaming Code of Conduct, which guides industry commitments to responsible gaming and is updated annually to reflect new developments and industry innovations. In 2018, AGA updated the code to enhance provisions on sports betting and responsible advertising.
New efforts are under way as well. Last year, AGA launched the Responsible Gaming Collaborative, convening a renowned group of thought leaders, stakeholders and academics to chart a new course on the complex issue of responsible gaming.
While our efforts are paying off, our work to promote responsible gaming cannot slow down. As gaming continues growing in popularity and expands across the country, we must ensure everyone has access to the resources they need. That’s why we are committed to our continued work with gaming regulators, our partners in the fight against problem gambling and our employees to ensure customers continue to engage in this form of mainstream entertainment responsibly.