The American Gaming Association (AGA) released a brand new Code of Conduct for Responsible Gaming last week, extending it to online gambling operations for the first time. 

As a part Responsible Gaming Education Week events in Atlantic City, New Jersey and Las Vegas, Nevada, the AGA released its new AGA Code of Conduct for Responsible Gaming. 

The AGA Code of Conduct for Responsible Gaming

The code was first designed in 2003 aimed at establishing a more consistent and industrywide approach to responsible gaming for AGA’s member casinos. The code was primarily applicable to land-based casinos. However, the AGA says this new edition is applicable to all forms of gaming, including land based, online, mobile, and interactive.  

“AGA is committed to leading the effort to ensure our customers enjoy the casino gaming industry responsibly,” AGA CEO and President Geoff Freeman said in a release. “Our updated Code of Conduct will ensure our members and their employees have the tools needed to ensure a safe, responsible experience for all customers.” 

The New Jersey online gambling industry

The move to extend the AGA Code of Conduct to online casino operations is of particular interest to the New Jersey gaming industry. The burgeoning New Jersey online gambling industry posted more than $196 million in revenues in 2016. Plus, it has been on pace to set a new record in 2017, averaging close to $20 million in monthly online gaming revenue so far. 

Of course, online gambling sites in New Jersey are already mandated by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to provide a number of responsible gambling tools for players. 

These include: 

  • Self-exclusion
  • Account cool-off
  • Account limits 

Changes to the AGA code

Changes to the AGA’s Code of Conduct are aimed at increasing industry efforts when it comes to responsible gaming while building and maintaining a more cohesive dialogue on the subject among industry stakeholders.

The changes to the code include: 

  • New consumer protection measures 
  • Enhanced transparency surrounding odds and payouts on casino games 
  • Increased transparency in advertising including ensuring advertising and marketing efforts do not misrepresent the probability of winning  

Of course, the AGA and its member casinos still maintain a number of ongoing responsible gaming initiatives. These include: 

  • Problem gambling treatment and prevention research 
  • Distribution and development of responsible gaming educational material 
  • Employee training directly related to problem gamblers and responsible gaming initiatives.  
  • Placing informative material and toll-free helpline numbers throughout casino properties 

A copy of the AGA’s Code of Conduct is also available for download through the AGA website. 

Responsible Gaming Education Week

This year marked the 20th anniversary of Responsible Gaming Education Week. The Atlantic City event held as part of the week was a responsible gaming roundtable conducted at Stockton University. 

Stakeholders attending the roundtable included: 

  • New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement Director David Rebuck
  • Caesars Entertainment Corporate Director for Issue Management Dean Hestermann
  • MGM Resorts International representative Patrick Harris
  • Executive Director of the National Center for Responsible Gaming Russell Sanna 

The AGA represents the $240 billion US casino industry. Its members include commercial and tribal casino operators, and others affiliated with the gaming industry.

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In his over 10 years covering the US online poker, legal NJ online gambling, and land-based casino industries, Martin Derbyshire has worn the hats of award-winning journalist and video and film producer. He has logged countless miles reporting on the world of high stakes gambling.