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Exploring the Potential of Responsible Gambling Technology in 2023

Published: January 16, 2023

Every day a new piece of technology is changing the way we live, including in the realm of gaming. With sports betting increasingly happening online, and new forms of online gambling being birthed all the time, responsible gambling advocates and organizations are also now coming of age along with them by collaborating to innovate new forms of responsible gambling technology. 

“I think we’re at like that teenager position,” said Jamie Costello, Director of Programs at the National Council on Problem Gambling, during a recent webinar. “We’ve all sort of figured out where we’re at on our own, and now we’re starting to come together.”

Some of the recent responsible gambling changes that are influencing the industry are decidedly traditional, like the decision to change the National Problem Gambling hotline number from 1-800-522-4700 to the more memorable 1-800-GAMBLER (426-2537). 

But others are potentially game-changing, like the increased use of responsible gambling features inside betting apps. Many responsible gambling organizations are also investigating ways to spread their messages more effectively online, and to give people anonymous ways to communicate when they need it, which can help reduce the stigma of asking for help. “I might not be likely to pick up a brochure at a store or at a treatment center,” said Costello. “But online, I can look at those tools and utilize those tools, without you knowing.”

Of all the factors contributing to technological advances, however, the most significant is the vast trove of data that is being assembled from digital betting and gambling. More and more people are engaging in gambling through apps, especially in the sports betting space, resulting in a lot of data that can be used to inform responsible gambling decisions and policy. Some companies have even discussed using AI to sift through that data and then send responsible gambling messages to individual players when they begin to show signs of problem gambling. 

Additional responsible gambling technologies and innovations that could affect the industry this year include:

  • The creation of more education hubs on betting sites that incorporate responsible gambling principles into learning how to play the game. 
  • Creating more apps and in-app functionality to easily set limits on betting and gambling, such as limits on deposits, time played, and wagering. 
  • Spreading responsible gambling advertising messages in innovative ways, including through celebrity endorsements, by using emerging social media networks like TikTok, and in experimental spaces like the metaverse. 
  • Opening up new channels for people to access gambling addiction treatment, including through telehealth support groups and peer networks. 

As technology continues to change, so will Ohio responsible gambling advocates, including through Ohio’s new sports betting focused campaign Pause Before You Play. Visit the site to access information on how take a moment before betting on sports to pause, consider the risks, and set limits, a new awareness-raising video PSA, and fliers for use at community events. 

And if you think you or someone you know might have a problem with gambling, call the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline now, where you can speak with trained and understanding specialists offering free and confidential support. Call 1-800-589-9966 or text 4HOPE to 741741. 

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