1-800-GAMBLER Going Nationwide with National Council on Problem Gambling

Posted on: June 10, 2022, 07:25h. 

Last updated on: June 10, 2022, 11:10h.

1-800-GAMBLER is being deployed across the nation to assist those in need of curbing their gambling habits.

1-800-GAMBLER NCPG problem gambling
The fine print on a DraftKings ad makes finding help difficult for those in need, so says problem gambling experts. The National Council on Problem Gambling hopes to remedy the issue by taking 1-800-GAMBLER nationwide. (Image: DraftKings)

1-800-GAMBLER is a federally registered trademark owned by the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey (CCGNJ). The hotline has accompanied all gaming advertising in the Garden State for years. But soon, the easy-to-remember toll-free resource will aid problem gamblers throughout the US.

The CCGNJ has agreed to lend 1-800-GAMBLER to the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), the DC-based nonprofit that seeks to minimize the societal costs associated with gambling addiction. The New Jersey problem gambling organization will license its 1-800-GAMBLER hotline for an initial six-year term to the NCPG.

The pact allows the NCPG to lend the 1-800-GAMBLER number to problem gambling resource organizations nationwide. Instead of each state having a gambling hotline and an array of numbers in small types accompanying gambling and sports betting marketing materials used in multiple states, the single number will satisfy state regulatory laws.

When a caller dials 1-800-GAMBLER in a state outside New Jersey, they will be rerouted to that jurisdiction’s state-approved gambling resource center. In Indiana, for instance, should that state incorporate 1-800-GAMBLER, persons in the Hoosier State seeking gambling help will be redirected to the Indiana Problem Gambling Referral Line, which is currently only accessed by dialing 1-800-994-8448.

The CCGNJ already has partnerships with problem gambling agencies in Pennsylvania and West Virginia to leverage 1-800-GAMBLER.

National Coordination

The National Council on Problem Gambling is amid an effort called the National Problem Gambling Helpline Modernization Project. The goal is to reduce barriers to essential resources for those affected by problem gambling. Legal gaming states require that most advertisements be accompanied by such resources. But like other marketing for products and services that require warning and/or self-help labels, the fine print isn’t effective, or so says NCPG officials.

The NCPG believes 1-800-GAMBLER going nationwide could allow the hotline to replace paragraph-long lists of required fine print. Fred Hogan, board president of the CCGNJ, says the agency is happy to assist.

Our goal is simple, to continue to make sure 1-800-GAMBLER provides aid to anyone who needs it as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Hogan said. “We look forward to sharing our strength and experience.”

The 1-800-GAMBLER helpline will continue to operate uninterrupted in New Jersey as it’s leveraged nationwide.

NFL Funding Initiative

The NFL, the most-watched professional sports league in the US, has fully embraced the legal gaming industry. The change of heart came after the Supreme Court in 2018 said sports betting legality should be handled at the state level. More than 30 states today permit legal, regulated gambling on sports.

The NFL is using some of its ever-increasing revenue, some of it coming from increased fan engagement due to sports betting, to fund programs to limit the societal harms of more widespread gambling. The NFL recognizes that the commercial breaks during its broadcasted games are today flooded with sports betting advertisements.

Last fall, the NFL announced a $6.2 million contribution to the NCPG to streamline problem gambling toll-free networks. The NCPG explains that its 1-800-GAMBLER undertaking is funded by the NFL money.

Along with uniting toll-free numbers, the NCPG says the NFL grant will be used to significantly improve the operations, technology, and infrastructure of the 1-800-GAMBLER network.