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New Jersey DGE unveils customer data initiative to tackle problem gambling


The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has unveiled a new “cutting-edge” responsible gambling initiative that will use customer data collected by online operators to identify and intervene in suspected problem gambling.

Ahead of the NFL Super Bowl – the biggest gambling event of the year in the US – the state’s Attorney General Matthew Platkin outlined how the DGE is now working with online wagering companies to use technology in order to intervene with at-risk punters.

Operators of gambling platforms are now required to analyze electronically maintained player data relating to online gambling to determine whether an individual is showing signs of problematic behavior.

The initiative, which has been in planning since March 2022, launched on 1 January 2023 and is the first program of its kind in the United States.

The DGE has set specific parameters on the activities operators should be looking for, including warning signs such as players whose gambling time increases from week to week; bettors who repeatedly self-impose cool-off periods from gaming; those who wager until they have less than one dollar in their accounts; and players who regularly access the self-exclusion page on the operator’s website without ultimately executing an exclusion.

In addition to problematic play, platforms will also be looking for account activity that could be indicative of problem gambling, including deposits for thousands of dollars being made in a short time span or a player making multiple requests in a 24-hour span to increase limits on deposits or losses.

Under the new initiative, an individual displaying concerning behavior will be approached using various methods, depending on circumstances, including progressive messages responses if warning signs are recurring.

Initially, the person will receive automated outreach messages regarding responsible gaming and associated resources. If the warning signals continue, the individual will be required to view a video tutorial explaining responsible gaming and available resources before being allowed to continue gambling. At the next level, the operator’s responsible gaming lead or team will be required to contact the individual directly.

“Under the Murphy Administration, New Jersey has become a national leader in online casino games and sports wagering, and with that growth comes a responsibility to ensure that individuals at risk for compulsive gambling have access to the resources they need to get help,” Platkin said.

“It is no coincidence that our announcement comes just… ahead of one of the biggest days in sports wagering, serving as a reminder of how devastating a gambling addiction can be. This new initiative will allow the Division of Gaming Enforcement to work with the gaming industry to identify problematic patterns in player wagering behavior and intervene before they escalate.”

Player data is already captured by operators, and as part of the terms and conditions in user agreements that must be signed before access is granted to online gambling platforms, players consent to have their play monitored and recorded.

Operators of online wagering platforms also currently train their staff members who interact with players to identify red flags indicative of a gambling disorder.

“We are using data to identify at-risk players, alert them to their suspected disordered gambling, and inform them about available responsible gambling features in online platforms and corrective actions they can take,” DGE director David Rebuck said.

“This new approach will enable dedicated responsible gaming experts employed by the platforms and us to see the early warning signs and reach at-risk patrons before they find themselves in a financial catastrophe.”