he American Gaming Association (AGA) issued a new recommendation on Tuesday, which urges national advertising campaigns by gaming companies to include national gambling helplines.
“Problem gambling helplines are a vital resource for those in need of help. Unfortunately, lengthy lists of state-specific helplines on national advertisements create barriers for those seeking help when we should be making these critical resources easily accessible,” said AGA Vice President of Government Relations and Gaming Policy Counsel Jessica Feil.
As reported in a new statement, AGA believes that allowing the use of a national helpline in national advertising would be “the most effective way to protect players”.
Allowing the use of a national helpline in national advertising campaigns can improve disclaimer readability and better highlight problem gambling resources. pic.twitter.com/jpYa2EtFo9— American Gaming Association (@AmericanGaming) August 3, 2021
Despite most customers enjoying gambling as a form of entertainment, says AGA, those who no longer do and require help would benefit from improved disclaimer readability and better highlighting of problem gambling resources.
The new AGA policy statement encourages streamlined requirements for national campaigns, with the intention of diminishing confusion and inconsistency in gaming advertising.
“As gaming expands across the country, it’s imperative that our industry continues protecting all customers. We believe there shouldn’t be obstacles to help for those who need it, and a modernization of the helpline system for national advertising is a good place to start,” added Feil.
The direct consequences of the current system for national advertising are three, reports the Association.
The first one is a diminished sense of awareness, resulting from the requirement to display multiple national and state-specific helpline numbers. This translates to more than a dozen phone numbers being displayed, in difficult to read fonts, which sharply reduces accessibility.
AGA lists customer confusion as a second result, as multiple helpline numbers cause problem gamblers to not know which number they should call.
Lastly, the policy statement encourages to update the outdated offering and proposes to include modern services for crisis assistance, like text messaging and chat support.
Furthermore, AGA says incorporating website and mobile platform applications could also provide additional avenues for the consumer to quickly seek and receive help in the format best for them.
“We believe this will achieve the most important goal: providing consumers help from the most direct and local service provider when they need it most,” says the policy statement.