The Growth of Online Casinos and Betting in New Jersey Correlate With Increase in Gambling Addiction

URL copied to clipboard.
New Jersey, Gambling,
pierre 9x6/Pixabay

New Jersey has become a prominent hub for online gambling, particularly in the realm of online casinos and sports betting. The industry has experienced tremendous growth, but it is not all positive. With the change, there has been a corresponding increase in gambling addiction cases. The surge in the availability of online casino sites in New Jersey, coupled with aggressive marketing, has raised concerns about the consequences of the rapid rise of online gambling. There is a call for more responsibility, primarily responsible gambling measures in legalized NJ online gambling sites and an urgent need for stricter regulations.

Unprecedented Increase in Gambling Crisis Calls

The call data from the Council on Compulsive Gambling of NJ and the New Jersey Health Department reveals a staggering surge in outreach to the state’s hotline, 800-GAMBLER. The number of calls has skyrocketed by almost 200% since 2018, from just 49 per month in Fiscal Year 2018 to 147 calls per month in the current year. The data also indicates that online casinos and sportsbooks are driving this increase, with a significant rise of over 300% in calls related to online gambling compared to the previous fiscal year.

Ease of Access and Relentless Marketing

Numerous individuals seeking help for gambling addiction have highlighted the accessibility and convenience of online gambling platforms as significant factors contributing to their compulsive behavior. The allure of “free money” bonuses and ongoing marketing campaigns targeting potential gamblers exacerbates the problem. The prevalence of online gambling platforms has raised concerns about the addictive nature of these activities. Experts caution against misleading marketing tactics that promote “free spins” for online slots and “risk-free” bets, emphasizing that gambling always carries risks.

Stricter Monitoring and Responsible Gambling

It is essential to note that the increase in call volumes at problem gambling helplines does not solely indicate a compulsive gambling crisis. Critics argue that responsible online gambling practices should involve stricter monitoring of player behavior and mandatory cooling-off periods triggered by customer analytics to prevent excessive gambling.

The Legal Landscape and Industry Response

Proponents of the industry argue that the legalization of gambling has improved treatment opportunities for problem gamblers and reduced the stigma associated with seeking support. The American Gaming Association highlights the implementation of responsible gaming measures, such as customer-imposed restrictions and enhanced insight into consumer behavior. Nevertheless, critics argue that self-regulation is insufficient and that online gambling platforms should be more active in preventing and addressing gambling addiction.

Addressing the Growing Crisis

Legislators are taking steps to mitigate the negative impact of online gambling. Proposed measures aim to raise awareness about the dangers of excessive gambling through advertising restrictions and urging online casinos and sports betting companies to exercise restraint in their marketing strategies. Efforts are also underway to prevent gambling sites from contracting with local universities to introduce gambling to students.


However, more comprehensive regulatory frameworks at the federal level are needed to enact legislation around business practices. The Federal Trade Commission should also tighten the grip on online gambling ads to safeguard consumers.

More headlines