|ATLANTIC CITY – On March 1, 2013, Governor Chris Christie issued a Proclamation recognizing March 2013 as Problem Gambling Awareness Month with National Problem Gambling Awareness Week observed March 3 – 9, 2013 in New Jersey. In cooperation with the State’s Attorney General’s Office, Casino Control Commission, Racing Commission and the Council of Compulsive Gambling, the Division of Gaming Enforcement has joined in partnership to kick off this month’s campaign themed “ Problem Gambling: A New Understanding of a Community Concern.”
“By increasing awareness of the self-exclusion program for problem gamblers and expanding the locations where they can sign up for the casino self-exclusion list, we can help protect these individuals and their families from the financial and psychological trauma inflicted by gambling addiction,” said New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa. “We remain vigilant to promote responsible gambling in New Jersey through such efforts and the exemplary work of our regulators.”
“All partners are sensitive to the issues of compulsive gambling. We understand that while gambling is fun and a form of entertainment for most people, for others it can result in compulsive or pathological gambling problems and serious addiction,” said Division of Gaming Enforcement Director David Rebuck. “As with all gaming regulations, and most recently, in the drafting of the regulations for Internet gaming, we are confident that proper technical solutions for safeguarding against problem gambling are in place, including ensuring that people on the Division's Self-Exclusion List are not able to wager.”
Due in large part to these safeguards, the Division is announcing as part of this month’s campaign, that persons who wish to place themselves on the self-exclusion list for casinos will soon be able to initiate the process by appearing at the offices of the New Jersey Racing Commission at the Monmouth, Freehold, and Meadowlands tracks during business hours when those facilities are open.
"The New Jersey Racing Commission is pleased to participate in this valuable process,” said Frank Zanzuccki, Executive Director of the New Jersey Racing Commission. “The current locations for placement on the racing self-exclusion list will now be expanded to include placement on the self-exclusion list for casinos.”
“The process is still being developed,” said Rebuck, “but we are moving quickly with the cooperation of the Racing Commission to initiate the sign-up process at a location other than Atlantic City or Trenton.”
Both the New Jersey Casino Gambling Self-Exclusion Program and the Racing Commission Self-Exclusion Program offer individuals a means to eliminate the financial lure of gambling, whether at racetracks or casinos. Individuals who sign up for self-exclusion are encouraged to seek assistance through the Council on Compulsive Gambling and treatment programs available throughout the State.
Now in its 12th year, the New Jersey’s Casino Gambling Self-Exclusion Program allows a person to sign up for a minimum of one year, five years, or for life. When a person signs up for self-exclusion, the casinos must stop marketing to them, remove them from any mailing lists and stop offering complimentary goods or services, credit or check cashing privileges. There are currently 1,316 persons on the self-exclusion list.
“The self-exclusion program offers problem gamblers another tool to help them deal with their addiction,” said Casino Control Commission Chairman Matthew Levinson. “Increasing the locations where they can enroll in the program is an important step which will make it easier for people who found travelling to Trenton or Atlantic City inconvenient.”
“The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey applauds the efforts of New Jersey's regulatory agencies to increase options for self-exclusion sign-up through this new partnership. We believe that self-exclusion can be a helpful tool for persons dealing with a gambling addiction, especially when it is combined with a treatment or recovery program," said Donald Weinbaum, Executive Director for the Council of Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey.
Anyone interested in signing up for the self-exclusion program can now go to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement offices at Tennessee Avenue and the Boardwalk, Atlantic City, or 140 East Front Street, Trenton. For more information, please visit the Division’s website at www.njdge.org.
Help is available 24 hrs a day/7days a week by calling 1-800-GAMBLER. Information can also be downloaded and a live chat is available during daytime hours at www.800gambler.org.
Money that is received by the State as part of settlement agreements or that is forfeited to the State from patrons on the self-exclusion list is directed, in part, to the Casino Revenue Fund, which supports compulsive gambling treatment and education programs and programs that benefit the State’s senior citizens and persons with disabilities. Other monies from such settlements go directly to Council of Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey.