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NJ Governor Establishes Responsible Gaming Task Force

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has created a task force assigned with improving responsible gambling outcomes in the state.

new jersey governor phil murphy speaking
Photo by AP Photo/Wayne Parry
J.R. Duren Avatar
3 mins read

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed an executive order establishing a responsible gaming task force that will provide the governor and attorney general’s offices with recommendations and advice regarding responsible gaming and problem gambling.

The move comes amid considerable growth in New Jersey gaming: NJ online casinos regularly bring in more than $175 million in revenue each month.

Attorney General Matthew Platkin applauded the effort:

New Jersey has been a national leader in casino and sports wagering for many years, and we owe it to our residents to review and expand our existing efforts on problem gambling. This task force demonstrates that ‘responsible gaming’ is not merely a buzzword in New Jersey, but a critical issue that demands the attention of government entities, industry, and stakeholders. 

-N.J. Attorney General Matthew Platkin

In March, Platkin launched a $300,000 public awareness campaign addressing problem gambling.

New Jersey problem gambling is at least double the national rate

Among the concerns that spurred Murphy’s decision was the problem gambling rates among New Jersey gamblers.

A news release about Murphy’s task-force executive order noted that a 2023 study from Rutgers University found that the estimated problem gambling rate in New Jersey is 6%, whereas the national average is an estimated 1%-3%. Murphy noted the 6% problem gambling rate in his executive order, too.

Additionally, the report found that, since 2017, the rate of people who gamble exclusively online has tripled from 5% to 15%. Furthermore, Rutgers reported that 19% of the people in their study had some level of a gambling problem.

Moreover, Rutgers researchers found that the more people gamble, the higher the chances are of them exhibiting problem gambling behaviors.

“Gambling at high frequency was associated with all levels of risk for problem gambling, while both low- and moderate-frequency gambling were significantly overrepresented among non-problem gamblers,” the study noted.

Attorney general will head task force

Murphy’s task force will be made up of seven government employees:

  • Attorney general (task force chairperson)
  • Chair of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission
  • Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs
  • Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement
  • Director of the Division of State Lottery
  • Executive director of the New Jersey Racing Commission
  • Commissioner of the Department of Human Services

The executive order allows those listed above to appoint a designee to serve in their place. Members of the task force will not be paid for participation.

Murphy has charged the task force with nine objectives:

  • Review all literature related to responsible gaming and problem gambling provided by the agencies represented in the task force
  • Review the requirements each agency imposes related to responsible gaming and problem gambling advertising and practices
  • Review how gaming and gambling options affect underage people
  • Review how gaming and gambling impact vulnerable populations
  • Build a strategy to put funding to the best possible use
  • Figure out how to make responsible gaming resources accessible across various forms of gambling
  • Recommend changes that need to be made to the way agencies handle practices and advertising related to responsible gaming and problem gambling
  • Analyze and recommend standards for medical staff who treat problem gamblers
  • Recommend changes to existing policies related to responsible gaming and problem gambling

“New Jersey is known to be a gaming destination with historic locations like Atlantic City, amusement gaming at the Jersey Shore, notable horse racing venues, and more,” Murphy said. “This Task Force will see to it that we maintain our global leadership in gaming by ensuring that we have the tools needed to address problem gaming for our residents.”

PlayUSA reached out to Murphy’s office about the executive order but did not receive a response.

J.R. Duren Avatar
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J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

View all posts by J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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