NJ cracks down on betting advertisements
The promise of "risk-free bets" online may be on its way out, at least in New Jersey.
New standards for advertising are among a handful of efforts announced by officials on Thursday to curb problem gambling in the Garden State.
Operators are being told to end "dubious promises" in their ads, such as guaranteed wins or risk-free bets, unless users can be fully compensated for their losses. Many times, patrons are reimbursed for their losses in the form of site credits, which must be used again in order for the user to cash out.
In addition, operators are being told to limit advertising in areas where it would entice individuals under 21 years of age to play. They also need to provide the public with the ability to easily opt out of direct advertising, among other rules.
"We have seen tremendous growth in sports wagering and online gaming in New Jersey," said David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. "In the face of that boom, we have a duty to protect the public from advertising that could be misleading or harmful."
In March 2023 alone, gross revenue from sports betting totaled $93 million for casinos, racetracks and their partners in New Jersey. That's a 40% jump compared to March 2022.
Easier to self-exclude
Along with updated advertising standards, state officials announced that they're making it easier for individuals to self-exclude from gambling.
The state's existing self-exclusion program allows players to take the step on casino gaming floors or through DGE's online application. To improve access, New Jersey is creating a video-conference option for people want to be on the exclusion list. And a 24/7 hotline is being set up to assist anyone with questions about self-exclusion.
Attorney General Matthew Platkin made the announcement in Atlantic City as the keynote speaker at the East Coast Gaming Congress.
Also part of New Jersey's efforts is the creation of a new position, the Responsible Gaming Coordinator. The position, which is to be filled by an attorney, will handle all issues related to responsible gambling and ensure progress on existing initiatives, according to officials.
Earlier this year, New Jersey announced that online betting operators would be tracking the activity of bettors in an effort to spot individuals with a potential gambling problem.