Gambling in Las Vegas has been on the rise with many gambling locations situated in various casinos, airports, and some stores. With the high accessibility, there have been issues arising to some gamblers.
According to the executive director of the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling, Carol O’Hare, about 6% of the adult population in Nevada has a gambling problem which is almost 2-3 times more than other states. Experts have gone ahead to claim that with the spread of legalized sports betting in many US states, the gambling problem is likely to escalate.
Carol O’Hare believes that with the legalization of sports betting, some of the players who had no gambling problems before the legalization are likely to sink in the ship. In her statement, the executive director said that developing clear, helpful messages and resources on the importance of responsible gambling was crucial.
This week has been the 22nd annual Responsible Gambling Education Week that runs till Saturday. Thursday morning, 19th September 2019, saw the American Gaming Association hosting a panel of industry leaders to discuss ways to ensure responsible gaming is achieved.
The rise of sports betting
NASCAR managing director, Scott Warfield, cited that with sports betting presenting fans with opportunities to get engaged, it poses several challenges.
In the event at the UNLV International Gaming Institute, Scott admitted bet types such as in-play and in-race prop bets were interesting and that the panel needed to find ways on ensuring the bets are done in the right way which would keep them engaged and yet gambling responsibly.
Russel Sanna, National Center for Responsible Gaming executive director, stated that sports wagering posed a major risk of addiction to youths, elderly, and veterans. He noted that with the high rate of mobile sports betting in many states, it would impact the level of addictions even more. ‘You’re by yourself, so there’s no feedback. There’s nobody telling you you’re crazy to bet that much.’ He stated.
Sanna cited that new gambling opportunities did not present opportunities for more increased cases of problem gambling and the rates would always remain to be between 1% – 1.5%.
Suggesting solutions on the problem, panelist Alan Feldman said that there needed to be more research done on responsible gambling. Virginia McDowell, on the other hand, noted that gambling companies were making preventative efforts and noted that the operator GVC Holdings, was rolling out a program tailored for the youths to talk about responsible gambling in the United Kingdom.
With the normalization of sports betting, Feldman would also express the importance of the industry having conversations done on responsible gambling. He said, ‘The industry broadly needs to be much assertive, much more out in the open… about responsible gaming to all consumers.’
On Carol O’Hare’s part, she said that more players needed to be involved in the solutions. Aside from the gaming companies, Carol stated that institutions should be tasked with carrying out research, gaming regulators and operators should put up CSR practices, and the community at large should have a role to play in promoting responsible gambling.