June 19, 2024 3 min read

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New Jersey Establishes Task Force to Tackle Problem Gambling

The task force will deliver regular progress reports over the next year, with a final report due by March 31, 2025, providing stakeholders with timely updates on its findings and recommendations

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has taken a significant step toward addressing the state’s growing gambling addiction problem by signing Executive Order No. 360. This order establishes a Responsible Gaming Task Force, an advisory body aimed at recommending measures to combat problem gambling and promote responsible gaming practices throughout the state.

Task Force to Address High Rate of Problem Gambling in New Jersey

The newly formed task force is set to provide periodic updates over the next year, culminating in a final report by March 31, 2025. This body will operate under the leadership of Attorney General Matt Platkin, who will serve as the chair. The task force will consist of six additional public officials, including heads from various state departments such as the New Jersey Casino Control Commission and the Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Gov. Murphy emphasized the importance of this initiative, noting New Jersey’s prominent position as a gaming hub with attractions like Atlantic City and various amusement gaming venues. He stressed that the task force’s mission is to ensure that the state continues to lead globally in gaming by addressing the adverse impacts of problem gambling on residents.

The Governor’s Office highlighted a 2023 report from the Rutgers University Center for Gambling Studies, which revealed that 6% of New Jersey residents are at high risk for problem gambling, a rate significantly higher than the national average of 1-2%. This alarming statistic underscores the urgency of the task force’s mission, particularly as it affects vulnerable communities, including Black and Hispanic populations.

Task Force to Examine Effects of Online and Sports Betting on Younger Demographics

Attorney General Platkin praised Gov. Murphy’s initiative, recognizing the state’s long-standing leadership in casino and sports betting. Platkin pointed out that responsible gaming is a critical issue requiring concerted efforts from government entities, the gaming industry, and other stakeholders. As chair of the task force, he is eager to explore strategies to prevent and treat gambling disorders, emphasizing that responsible gaming is more than a mere buzzword in New Jersey.

The task force’s responsibilities will include reviewing the effects of gambling on underage and vulnerable populations, developing strategies to foster responsible gaming, and making policy recommendations to address gambling addiction. The task force may also consult with experts and representatives from both public and private sectors to gain comprehensive insights into the issue.

The creation of the task force comes in response to various pressures, including a recent dip in sports betting revenue in May and the rising prevalence of online and sports betting, which has made gambling more accessible, particularly to younger demographics. This initiative also aligns with legislative efforts by figures such as Sen. John McKeon, who has introduced several bills aimed at mitigating issues related to online gaming and sports wagering.

Author

Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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