A Note from the NCPG Executive Director

The legalization of sports betting presents us with perhaps the biggest legislative and policy challenge in our history, but also provides us with opportunities to raise awareness, build coalitions and secure funding around the issue. Since the Supreme Court decision in May 2018, six states (and at least one tribal government) have joined Nevada in legalizing sports betting. The initial response has been eye-popping. In September $184 million was wagered on sports in New Jersey alone, $104 million through internet or mobile accounts.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that as many as 30 states will consider sports gambling legalization when legislatures reconvene in January 2019. We believe that this massive expansion of gambling will increase gambling participation and problems unless significant steps are taken to minimize harm. Unfortunately none of the sports betting bills that have been passed or proposed include all five of our Responsible Gambling Principles, though New Jersey generally meets them through regulation. We have a lot of work to do to ensure the principles – which include responsible gambling provisions and problem gambling funding – are incorporated into the next wave of legislation from the start.

As such, NCPG has created the Safer Sports Betting Initiative (SSBI). Our goal is to raise awareness of potential gambling addiction-related problems and suggested responsible gambling solutions among states, regulators, leagues and teams, gambling operators and other stakeholders.

The roots of SSBI were laid two years ago through a pair of Board resolutions. From there NCPG worked with current and new members to develop the NGAGE survey (see below) and will also commission benchmarking reports and a literature review on sports betting and problem gambling. In addition, NCPG will hire an experienced legislative advocate to build a national grassroots effort to advocate for responsible gambling provisions in every sports betting expansion bill, utilizing our existing nationwide bill tracking software and working with state-level advocates to refine the RG guidelines into specific legislative language for each jurisdiction.

We look forward to working together with all our members to prevent problems and help as many people as possible.

Keith S. Whyte
Executive Director, National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG)

Upcoming Webinars

How to Handle Sports Betting Expansion – OCTOBER 23 1:00 PM

In the wake of the Supreme Court decision on Murphy v NCAA, the door is now open for all states to legalize sports betting. This summer 6 states legalized sports betting and we expect another 20-30 to consider legalization bills in January 2019.

Join NCPG Executive Director Keith Whyte on this webinar as he reviews the current status of legalized sports betting, the next wave of expansion, prospects of Congressional legislation, what action NCPG is taking and how advocates can use our Responsible Gambling Principles for Sports Betting legislation and other tools. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Problem Gambling and the Military – NOVEMBER 13 1:00 PM

Rates of problem gambling are significantly higher among veterans, military recruits and those currently in the military compared with rates in the general population. Research suggests that Military personnel are at risk of experiencing negative consequences as a result of gambling related issues such as stress from financial debts, which may have a negative effect on military readiness. Furthermore, military and veteran populations are more prone to substance abuse, mental health problems and suicide, all of which are highly co-morbid with problem gambling.

In recognition of Veterans’ Day, this webinar will focus on developments in research and policy for Military personnel and problem gambling over the past decade, including the recent NCPG victory requiring gambling disorder screening questions to be included in periodic health assessments for active duty soldiers conducted by the Department of Defense. NCPG Executive Director Keith Whyte will review the latest drafts of our legislation and discuss how members can advocate at local and national levels. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

2018 Year End Review (and 2019 Preview) – DECEMBER 11 1:00 PM

Join our December webinar for an overview of NCPG’s activities over the past year, including advocacy, education and program highlights. The second half of the webinar will focus on the organization’s goals for 2019 as the National Council on Problem Gambling continues to grow. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER