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Angel Hristov March 21, 2023 3 min read
New Jersey Committee Approves Addiction Treatment Bill
Ralph Caputo hopes to protect young people in New Jersey from the ever-looming dangers of gambling addiction
New Jersey lawmakers plan to introduce a problem gambling measure that would see the state step up its efforts in the war on gambling-related crime and addiction. Details about the program are outlined in Bill A420, which received the unanimous approval of the state’s Tourism, Gaming and Arts Committee.
The measure, sponsored by Ralph Caputo, would see the foundation of a Gambling Treatment Diversion Court Pilot Program. The program will address the alarming gambling harm rates in the Garden State, as legislators seek to combat problem gambling and gambling-related crimes.
The program, the bill reads, will “have as a purpose the treatment of persons determined to be affected by an addictive disorder related to gambling and who committed a crime for which they have been convicted in furtherance or as a result of the gambling.”
Under the bill, the Administrative Office of the Courts will administer a gambling court that will be established in the state.
In addition to treating existing problem gamblers, the bill would also protect all players by prohibiting sports betting adverts in certain locations, such as learning establishments. High school districts, meanwhile, will be required to teach their students about the dangers of unrestrained gambling in health classes.
Caputo Is Bullish on Protecting the Youth
Although Caputo is known to have a favorable stance on gambling, he is a firm opponent of the proliferation of gambling advertisements and irresponsible gambling. He hopes that the new measure will help New Jersey bring problem gambling and gambling crime rates down.
Caputo’s measures are centered on young adults, which are the most vulnerable people according to numerous studies. Researchers have demonstrated that the impulsivity of young people often causes them to lose money to gambling and develop addictions while chasing losses.
Because of his good intentions, Caputo and his measures have gained the backing of many addiction experts and former addicts.
Some of Caputo’s allies, however, are still divided on how New Jersey should tackle gambling ads. While some claim that the state should adopt a harsher stance on ads, others argue that lawmakers should be moderate in their approach. The proponents of advertising argue that the state, which benefits a lot from gambling taxes, should not bar operators from promoting their products.
Speaking about gambling in New Jersey, the state regulator just published information about the market’s performance in February. As it turns out, gambling revenue in the Garden State increased by 10.4% year-on-year.