The American Gaming Association has called for the creation of a nationwide gambling helpline to be displayed in gambling ads.
US.- Gambling ads in the US display the phone numbers of gambling helplines, but with such huge recent growth in the sector, the large number of helplines in different states is becoming increasingly complicated.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) is calling for the creation of a national gambling helpline that can be shown in all ads.
The AGA explained that due to the spread in licensed gambling, from 13 states in 1993 to 44 and the District of Columbia today, ads now need to show multiple helpline numbers, which it says causes confusion.
The AGA has called for the implementation of a national problem gambling helpline to be shown in national advertising campaigns “to help consumers in need access support and resources quickly and efficiently.”
It said: “This will decrease consumer confusion, prevent diminished awareness of available resources, and improve customer experience and accessibility. National helpline numbers connect consumers with appropriate state resources or directly help consumers in situations when state resources are not readily available.
“Incorporating technology, such as SMS texting and website and mobile platform applications, will also provide additional avenues for the consumer to quickly seek and receive help in the format best for them.
“We believe this will achieve the most important goal: providing consumers help from the most direct and local service provider when they need it most.”
It said that having to show so many different helplines causes several problems:
- Diminished awareness: requirements compel licensees to display multiple national and state-specific numbers in published and broadcasted national advertisements. A national or multistate advertisement may have to display more than a dozen different helplines and disclaimer language resulting in tougher to read fonts and diluted messaging.
- Customer confusion: multiple helpline numbers cause consumer confusion as to the appropriate number to call. For example, should the consumer call the number for the state in which he or she resides or the number in the state where he or she is gambling? The mix of numbers also creates unnecessary barriers to help, like remembering the appropriate numbers to call when in crisis.
- Outdated offering: the requirement to use a call-in helpline overlooks modern services including websites and text-based resources that many consumers may prefer.