September 29, 2023 3 min read


New Jersey’s High-Risk Gambling Drops, but State Still Faces Challenges

The comprehensive study, titled "The Prevalence of Online and Land-Based Gambling in New Jersey," delves into various forms of gambling, both online and in-person, shedding light on the habits of over 3,500 New Jersey residents between December 2020 and April 2021

A recent report commissioned by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) and conducted by researchers at Rutgers University reveals a notable decline in high-risk problem gambling in the state, even as sports betting continues to gain traction. 

New Jersey’s Problem Gambling Stays Three Times Higher Than National Norm

The report’s key findings indicate a decrease in high-risk problem gambling rates from 6.3% to 5.6%. However, the study highlights that New Jersey’s rate of problem gambling remains three times higher than the national average, persisting as a concern for state authorities.

Attorney General Matthew Platkin stated: “Through the release of this report, we are taking a comprehensive look at the pervasiveness of gambling across the state, and with it, we are able to better identify challenges for our most vulnerable populations and design programs and initiatives to assist them.”

The research, led by Dr. Lia Nower, J.D., Ph.D., indicates that sports betting saw a significant surge, with participation rates rising from 15% to slightly over 19%. Simultaneously, the study identified a shift in gambling patterns, with the percentage of individuals exclusively gambling online tripling from 5% to 15%. In contrast, those solely engaging in in-person gambling at casinos dropped from 76% to 49%.

Moreover, the report highlighted the increasing popularity of high-risk stock trading, with approximately 25% of participants involved, signifying a nearly seven-fold rise since the previous survey. This trend raised concerns among experts about the potential link between risky gambling behavior and financial trading activities.

New Jersey Takes Proactive Measures Against Problem Gambling

Dr. Lia Nower, from Rutgers University’s School of Social Work, Center for Gambling Studies, emphasized the significance of the report’s findings. She remarked: “This report provides evidence to guide prevention and education efforts for those at highest risk for gambling problems: Younger adults, members of ethnic and racial minority groups, and those who gamble on multiple activities and bet both online and in land-based venues.”

The report also highlighted correlations between gambling behavior and substance use, indicating that gamblers were more likely to use tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs, as well as report mental health problems.

In response to the findings, New Jersey has implemented various measures, including self-exclusion programs, advertising standards, and technological interventions to assist at-risk patrons. The state continues to evaluate these strategies in collaboration with responsible gaming organizations to curb the prevalence of problem gambling and promote safer gambling practices among its residents.

For example, in February, the DGE introduced a pioneering proactive approach to tackle problem and at-risk sports betting in the state, marking the first initiative of its kind in the US. The approach requires gambling operators to analyze player data to identify signs of at-risk or problem gambling.


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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