New Jersey Hopes to Be Responsible Gambling Leader With New Initiatives

New Jersey was the first state to launch internet gambling in 2013, and it legalized online sports betting in 2018. Now the Garden State wants to lead the nation in responsible gambling initiatives, including two new self-exclusion tools announced this week.

According to a June 12 press release from the office of New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin, both a dedicated helpline and virtual option are now available for gamblers to exclude themselves from online and in-person gambling in the state. Individuals can call the hotline (1-833-788-4DGE) to set up an in-person or video appointment with responsible gambling personnel who will assist with the self-exclusion process.

New Jersey has always been a national leader in gaming, as the first to allow casino gambling outside Nevada and the first to launch Internet gaming. And we are now focusing on making our pioneering state the standard in responsible gaming practices,” Platkin said in the press release. “The efforts announced today underscore our commitment to helping problem gamblers by expanding the entry points for self-exclusion and other methods to receive assistance.”

The new video-conference option “reduces barriers for patrons to address their problem gambling by completing the process without leaving their homes” said the release.

Individuals wanting to self-exclude themselves from internet gambling can also use an online application via the Attorney General’s website, pending identity verification. A meeting is required for self-exclusion from brick-and-mortar casino gambling in the state.

Release of New RG Tools Coincides With Big Wagering Events

Unveiling of the new helpline and video conference options for self-exclusion coincided with a sports betting ramp-up during the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final. Platkin’s office said Monday that New Jersey wants to have new tools available as fans bet “on everything from which team will win, by how much, and how many points individual players will rack up.”New Jersey has announced initiatives to help curb problem gambling.

It’s a somewhat symbolic move for New Jersey, where the first legal sports bet was placed on the Stanley Cup and World Cup on June 14, 2018. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy placed that wager a few weeks after his state successfully overturned PASPA before the US Supreme Court in May 2018.

PASPA (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) was a 1992 federal law that prohibited legal sports betting outside Nevada and a few other jurisdictions. New Jersey won the case in Murphy v. NCAA after a six-year legal battle.

Today New Jersey is home to about 20 online casino apps and 21 online sportsbooks, in addition to in-person casino and sports gambling. The state’s internet gambling revenue has consistently ranked at or near the top nationally for years. In April, the state reported a year-to-date internet gaming win of $620 million – a growth of 13.7 percent from the previous period, according to a May 16 press release from Platkin’s office.

Total year-to-date New Jersey gaming revenue as of April 2023 (including casino, internet gambling, and sports wagering gross revenue) was $1.8 billion, a 12.4 percent increase from the prior period.

More NJ Gambling Legislation Pending

The Garden State is escalating its responsible gambling efforts as state lawmakers consider whether to extend the state’s internet casino gambling law for another 10 years. The 2013 law is set to expire this November unless extended by new legislation. (Sports betting is authorized under another statute and would not be affected by the expiration of the 2013 law.)

On Monday, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee voted to advance S-3075, which would extend the internet gambling law until 2033.

Bill co-sponsor and Sen. Vince Polistina, R-Atlantic City, called legal online gambling and sports betting “a catalyst for struggling casinos in the aftermath of the Great Recession,” according to a June 12 story in The Press of Atlantic City.

“In places like Atlantic City, internet gaming has created a number of good paying jobs for workers as well as generating millions of dollars in tax revenues for the state,” the story read.

photo by: Pla2na

About the Author
Rebecca Hanchett

Rebecca Hanchett

Legislative Writer
Based in Kentucky's Bluegrass region, Rebecca Hanchett is a political writer who covers legislative developments at Gaming Today. She worked as a public affairs specialist for 23 years at the Kentucky State Capitol. A University of Kentucky grad, Hanchett has been known to watch UK. basketball from time to time.

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