As gambling evolves and expands around the globe, including in the Dutch Caribbean, problem gambling issues are receiving much more attention. Problem gambling is a disorder characterized by a preoccupation with wagering, chasing losses and losing control over the amount of time and money spent gambling. Approximately 2% of adults report mild to severe gambling problems in a given year.
Therefore, modern gaming regulations include responsible gambling requirements such as a written plan with measurable objectives in areas like employee training, self-exclusion, advertising guidelines and the ability for customers to set limits on time and money spent betting.
Progressive gambling operators are increasingly using loyalty card and player tracking data to reduce risk (and marketing expense!) among their customers by tailoring promotions and bonuses to players who do not exhibit high-risk behaviors. These gamblers are less likely to “burn out” and therefore have better lifetime value. Responsible gambling is both good business and good ethics.
Government and gambling industry alike increasingly recognize the only ethical and economical way to maximize economic benefits from legalized gambling is to minimize health costs related to gambling problems.
We are working with enlightened casino operators, lottery directors, health ministry officials, and NGOs on responsible gambling projects and on problem gambling services to provide hope and help to individuals suffering from gambling addiction. We appreciate the opportunity to engage with government officials, gaming executives, and attendees at the GovRisk event in Sint Maarten.
Keith Whyte, Executive Director
National Council on Problem Gambling (US)