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High-Risk Problem Gambling Down Slightly, Sports Wagering Rises In New Jersey, New Report Says

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According to a report published September 28, high-stakes problem gambling in New Jersey decreased a little even as sports wagering increased.

High-risk problem gambling is three times higher in New Jersey that in any other US state:

However, according to the aforementioned report submitted by Rutgers University and paid for by the New Jersey’s Division of Gambling Enforcement, it was discovered that the problem mentioned above is three times greater in that state than in any other US state. Written between December 2020 and April 2021, the report inspects 15 forms of gambling, involving online or in-person casino gambling, purchasing scratch-off or lottery tickets, wagering on horses or sports, playing fantasy sports, keno or bingo or diving into risky trades actions, which in the mentioned report is shown as part of gambling.

Commenting on the report, Attorney General Matthew Platkin commented as reported by Associated Press News: “We are taking a comprehensive look at the pervasiveness of gambling across the state. The report may better identify challenges for at-risk populations and spur the creation of programs to help them.” Additionally, Lia Nower of Rutgers University’s School of Social Work, Center for Gambling Studies, added: “The state is trying to learn as much as it can about gamblers’ activities to spot problems and offer help. New Jersey has led the nation in evaluating every bet placed online, and addressing the impact of wagering on its residents. 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.”

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However, this report represents the first since 2017 to study this issue. The one from 2017 was an initial study completed to assess the effect of gambling via internet and officially started in New Jersey during November 2013.

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Reason for reduction:

Although sports wagering has really taken off in the state, as of 2018, the total high-risk gambling rate has decreased from 6.3% to 5.6%. Also moderate and low risk gambling also reduced from nearly 15% to nearly 13%. To address the issue, the state has taken few steps, involving going out of its way to ease the rules for individuals who want to self-exclude from wagering, putting a statewide coordinator with a task to provide “all responsible gambling efforts”, establishing standards for ads for sports wagering firms and casinos, and collaborating with firms to utilize technology to supervise online wagering and to help vulnerable users.

Also, 61% of people from New Jersey have participated in minimum 1 gambling activity during the past 12 months, a 70% drop from the former report. Participation in sports wagering has grown from 15% during 2017 to more than 19% during 2021, and the number of people who only gamble online has tripled over the same period, from 5% to 15%. Furthermore, also for the mentioned period, the number of individuals who only gamble in-person fell from almost 76% to 49%, reflecting the worries of Atlantic City casino officials that a large number of the 9 existing casinos have not yet managed to go back to pre-COVID-19 profit levels when looking at cash earned from in-person players.

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Lottery as the most popular form of gambling:

The most famous type of gambling stayed buying lottery tickets, 73% but fell by nearly 7% when it comes to popularity, and instant scratch-off tickets, 59.1% which also fell by nearly 5%. However, nearly 25% of respondents are included in high-risk stock trading, which involves margins or in-options, which is almost seven times more compared to the previous survey.

Individuals who engage in gambling were definitely more likely to binge-drink, experience mental health or drug use problems and use alcohol, illicit drugs and tobacco. Furthermore, the aforementioned university researches examined 3,512 state adults via online surveys or telephone and studied their gambling activities or self-reported patterns.

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