New Jersey: Online gaming platforms to access, study player data to tackle problem gambling

Under a new initiative by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, online gaming platforms will be using data in an attempt to tackle potential cases of problem gambling. The new methods provide users with targeted outreach to help them choose options to address possible gambling addictions.

The Responsible Gaming Initiative launched in January, having been in development since March 2022, and is said to be the first program of its kind in the U.S. Online gambling platforms are now required to study player data to identify potential problem gambling.

To do so, the division will work with wagering companies in using associated technology, reports The Press of Atlantic City. Attorney General Matthew Platkin said in a statement: “It is no coincidence that our announcement comes just a week 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 can escalate,” Platkin added.

Players already consent to online gaming platforms collecting data on their gameplay, recording and scanning it to prevent fraud, theft and cheating. Operators also train employees to interact with players to monitor possible behaviors that suggest a gambling disorder. The new procedures go a step further, ensuring those appearing to suffer from a gambling problem can be in touch with responsible gaming personnel. 

The division sets forth a set of guidelines operators should use, including whether they noticed a player increasing wage frequencies each week and if they place bets until they are left with less than $1 in their accounts. 

Division Director David Rebuck commented: “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.”

“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,” he added, as per Press of Atlantic City.

In addition to tracking down signs of high numbers of bets, the new initiative also directs platforms to check account activity for signs of gambling addiction. Those include thousands of dollars in deposits being made in a short timeframe and several requests within 24 hours to increase limits on deposits or losses, the Attorney General’s Office said. 

Platforms also are required to block self-excluded people and must exhibit before launching their websites that they have instituted precautions in preventing self-excluded people from gambling.