It’s no secret that gambling has never been easier thanks to the surge in legal gaming options.
Firstly, thanks to New Jersey‘s introduction of online sports betting and regulated online slots. As gambling becomes more accessible, it’s vital to emphasize healthy attitudes and a focus on responsible gambling.
Many may wonder what exactly responsible gambling means, both for players and the casinos that serve them.
On this page, we’ll discuss responsible gambling, problem gambling and what resources are available to help New Jersey residents struggling with problem and disordered gambling.
Understanding responsible gambling
Responsible gambling stems from a realistic view of gaming as a source of entertainment and an understanding of the risk involved.
This attitude means staying within spending limits and ensuring that gambling doesn’t cause any lasting personal harm. Wins should be considered a fun bonus and losses should be within a person’s budget.
A night at the casino shouldn’t be fundamentally different from any other night on the town. Having a good time with friends and coming home without any lingering problems. Online gambling should also follow similar principles.
If a person cannot maintain this responsible gambling attitude, then he or she may be at risk for problem or disordered gambling.
Some tips for responsible gambling include:
- Set strict spending limits before beginning to gamble and stick to them. Do not chase losses.
- Set strict time limits before beginning to gamble and stick to them.
- Know that it’s OK to walk away with winnings. Do not have to double down.
- Stay aware of emotions and do not gamble when feeling sad, upset or angry.
- Monitor spending on gambling over time; it’s easy to lose track.
- Take breaks from gambling to keep it from becoming a habit. Balance it with social life and other hobbies.
- Don’t be afraid to speak with others or seek help about a possible gambling problem.
Casino operators and gambling providers reinforce responsible gambling attitudes with guidelines to support a fun, safe and ethical environment by:
- Providing information for players about the risks of gambling and ways to responsibly gamble.
- Training staff to recognize and intervene when players are showing symptoms of problem gambling.
- Providing information and resources to problem gamblers seeking help.
- Training staff to notice problematic alcohol consumption and intervene.
- Avoiding marketing efforts that target high-risk or problem gamblers.
- Helping to prevent underage players from gambling.
Anyone who wishes to learn more about a specific casino’s approach to the topic of responsible gambling can often find more information on its website.
Understanding problem gambling
Players who are unable to stick to responsible gambling may slip into high-risk or problem gambling behaviors. Problem gambling covers a wide range of behaviors.
It covers irresponsibly risky bets or compulsive wagering that cause minor disruptions to the gambler’s job, home or family life, as well as addictive behavior that causes major problems such as the loss of one’s savings, home, employment or relationship.
It can sometimes be difficult to notice problem gambling behavior since it often doesn’t have immediate physical symptoms.
Typically problem gambling presents itself through the following symptoms:
- Repeated requests to borrow money from family and friends.
- Sudden selling of thier possessions to raise money.
- Consciously hiding gambling losses from others.
- Attempting to hide gambling activity from others.
- Gambling repeatedly with the goal of making back losses.
- Using gambling repeatedly as a way to escape stress or emotions.
- Increasing betting amounts to chase a thrill.
- Becoming unstable or irritable when not gambling.
- Exhibiting bouts of sadness and remorse after gambling.
- A disregard for hygiene and health.
- Missing work, school or family commitments to gamble.
Responsible and problem gambling resources in New Jersey
The state of New Jersey offers several resources for players who are interested in learning more about responsible gambling practices or getting help for problem gambling.
While the responsible gambling tips we’ve mentioned above may work for some, others will find that it’s not enough. There’s no shame in seeking help for a gambling problem, and there are many different levels of relief. Assistance can range from basic support to voluntary self-exclusion programs.
Council of Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey
The nonprofit, CCGNJ, is contracted to provide statewide services concerning problem and disordered gambling. This includes education, outreach, training and providing counseling and treatment.
Remote counseling services
The CCGNJ operates through the 1-800-Gambler helpline that gamblers can call 24/7 to get free, confidential counseling and assistance.
Text support is also available through the number.
The website, 800gambler.org, also offers live chat assistance.
The site also provides information on weekly phone meetings for support groups.
The CCGNJ keeps an up-to-date list of state-funded and private treatment providers for disordered gamblers seeking a referral. This includes in-patient and out-patient facilities, private therapists and other transitional programs that can assist.
A list of Gamblers Anonymous meetings throughout the state is also available.
National resources for responsible gambling
For anyone looking for additional information, help or support the following national organizations can also provide advice and assistance.
National Center for Responsible Gaming
This organization funds research on the topic of gambling disorders and youth gambling with a focus on treatment.
Their website provides a selection of research papers as well as videos and short articles to help anyone learn about responsible gambling behaviors and ways to talk to children about gambling.
National Council on Problem Gaming
NCPG organization has links and resources for getting help in New Jersey, as well as self-screening tools to help gamblers assess if they are exhibiting problem gambling behaviors.
The NCPG also offers its confidential helpline, which is available for calls and texts at 1-800-522-4700. Chat services are also available through the website.
Gamblers Anonymous is a national group that provides confidential support for people with a gambling problem.
It also runs a national hotline, and the New Jersey branch is reachable through 1-855-222-5542.
Its website also includes listings of Gamblers Anonymous support group meeting with a locator feature and map.
GamTalk is a community that allows people struggling with problem gambling to read recovery stories and also just talk through issues in open chat rooms.
Voluntary self-exclusion programs
For anyone who believes that they cannot adhere to responsible gambling practices and who may have a gambling problem, there are formal steps to take.
Residents of New Jersey can file a voluntary self-exclusion request with the state to ban themselves from gambling online and/or in Atlantic City casinos. Note that it is a “self-exclusion,” which means that family members and friends cannot sign someone else up for the exclusion.
Self-exclusion can be set for one year, five years or for a lifetime.
Note that if someone has a concern about possible problem gambling, but is not yet ready to file for a self-exclusion, he or she can file for a suspension of credit privileges by submitting a request in-person at the Division of Gaming Enforcement‘s office. This move will at least limit gambling on credit and prevent more debt from accumulating.
How to file for a self-exclusion
There are technically four ways to register for the self-exclusion program.
New Jersey residents can visit the DGE’s webpage for up-to-date contact information.
Anyone seeking a self-exclusion from both Atlantic City casinos and regulated online gambling needs to fill out a self-exclusion form and turn it in in-person at either the New Jersey DGE or the New Jersey Racing Commission during business hours.
Applicants need to bring photo ID with them to verify their identity and they should expect to be photographed. It must be handed in in-person to ensure that it’s a legitimate application.
It is also possible to file an in-person request for a self-exclusion just from online gambling by following the steps above.
New Jersey residents who wish to file for a self-exclusion solely from online gambling can file an online application through the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE).
New Jersey residents can also easily file for self-exclusion for online gambling through their official online player account through its internal sign-up.
What happens when someone files for self-exclusion
Once a self-exclusion has been filed, the person’s information, photograph and description will be privately shared with physical casinos and internet operators so that they can prevent the person from gambling.
Casino operators will remove anyone on the self-exclusion list from their marketing lists, which extends to free offers and services. If someone attempts to evade self-exclusion and are caught, any winnings and chips will be forfeited.
The ability to gamble will only be reinstated when the time frame runs out if he or she did not file for a lifetime exclusion.
Responsible internet gambling
When playing on online gambling sites, it’s essential to try and maintain responsible gambling behaviors.
A 2017 study by Rutgers notes the rising interest in online gambling due to its 24/7 accessibility and convenience. There’s also a correlation between problem gambling behaviors and adding online gambling to one’s routine.
When using an online gambling app or service, it’s important to remember to use the same responsible gambling behaviors as at a physical casino. On the bright side, some applications offer systems to reinforce responsible behaviors.
For example, DraftKings Sportsbook allows players to limit daily, weekly or monthly deposits to encourage thoughtful gambling and prevent heat-of-the-moment regretful decisions.
With the spread of online gambling, it’s also important for parents to assist with responsible gambling practices by preventing their underage children from betting.
While all legitimate online operations should verify ages during sign-up, minors can borrow a parent’s login information or abuse the “remember me” feature to access the site.
Do not allow minors to gamble, and if anyone is concerned that they may try, they can utilize NetNanny or Cybersitter parental control software to block gambling websites on shared devices.
Remember responsible gambling
Gambling should be a source of fun and entertainment, and it can be through responsible gambling behaviors.
While players enjoy themselves, they should remember to be thoughtful and keep the hobby from becoming harmful. If someone is struggling with problem or disordered gambling, they should not be afraid to ask for help.
The variety of resources we mentioned above are available to provide the level of help that anyone needs.