RG Gets An Assist From Technology

RG Gets An Assist From Technology

Slot players can expect help from slot makers to avoid problem gambling

Here’s to a new focus. There’s been a seismic industry shift regarding people who gamble too much. Organizations once geared prevention efforts to a perceived problem base of 1 percent to 2 percent of patrons.

These involved extreme, heartwrenching examples: pastors gambling away parishioners’ assets, college students getting hooked on campus, and families torn apart by reckless social behavior.

Treatment was the tool of engagement. An expanded, more pragmatic view has emerged.

The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) is eyeing a second target, perhaps 25 percent of the gaming population that’s deemed to be flirting with danger, yet is more likely to be helped.

RG Gets An Assist From Technology Its players are probably a step away from being under control, rather than a step from falling over the edge.

The 25 percent group can be reached because the preachers have props. Technology is the tool of engagement, embedded within gaming products.

The gaming industry offers technological advancements like time limit-setting, spend limits, take-a-break functionality, facial-recognition technology and algorithms.

Its product line continually evolves. In March, the NCPG kicks into high gear for Problem Gambling Awareness Month.

Groups across America hold conferences, air public service announcements, provide counselor training, host screening days, run social media campaigns and engage in other activities to increase public awareness of problem gambling, as well as the availability of prevention, treatment and recovery services.

It is perfectly timed to coincide with NCAA March Madness, a time when young gamblers can become addicted to the action.

Double-Edged Sword

Operators walk a fine line with this issue.

RG Gets An Assist From Technology They can neither condone financially irresponsible players nor discourage business in a cutthroat world.

What’s the balance? Responsible gambling has no immediate ROI. Its reward is doing the right thing.

Gaming commissions can provide operators political cover with shareholders by mandating certain products statewide, thus leveling the playing field.

Some jurisdictions, like Massachusetts, require responsible-gaming mechanisms on machines.

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