In 2021, gambling regulations changed in the U.S. state of Connecticut. After authorities ruled that online gambling could go ahead in the state, overseen by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP), a limited roll-out of legal betting took place. This roll-out immediately began to generate revenue for Connecticut and its business community.
However, responsible gambling is always high on the agenda whenever betting regulations change, and legislators have been understandably cautious about the pace of the roll-out. To support this, a state legislative committee is launching a study of problem gambling in the state. The study coincides with one of the American betting industry’s flagship annual events — the Super Bowl.
Study into Problem Gambling Welcomed by Connecticut Groups
The legislative study was launched following an announcement from the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling after they reported a significant rise in the number of calls to its helpline in recent weeks. The Council stated that changes in gambling regulations in Connecticut had contributed to this increase.
“[We are] not for or against gambling,” said Diana Goode of the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling, speaking to NBC journalist Dan Corcoran. “We just want to make sure that as gambling becomes easier and more accessible, that safeguards are in place. And right now, we’re very concerned about those safeguards.”
Significant Increases in Calls to Helpline
Ms Goode went on to describe a four-fold increase in calls to the helpline since the beginning of regulated online gambling and sports betting in the state. She also said that the Council’s chat tools are receiving an uptick in communication from concerned gamblers, particularly among male Connecticut residents in their twenties.
Over the course of her interview with NBC, Diana Goode reiterated that gambling itself was not problematic, but that responsible gambling must be encouraged and protected if industry revenue is to benefit the broader society. State legislature evidently agrees with this, and they have launched their study in an effort to ensure that safeguards are in place to support responsible gambling for the future.
The Ongoing Movement for Responsible Gambling
Federal regulations recommend that studies into the gambling market should be carried out every decade to assess the benefits to communities across the US and to identify where improvements can be made. Diana Goode said that the most recent study was conducted 14 years ago and that the market is long overdue for further research and understanding. Since the last study, online gambling has become far more developed and sophisticated, which means the industry is almost unrecognizable from the one seen a decade and a half ago.
Such studies are not movements against the gambling industry. Instead, they are valuable sources of knowledge and understanding as online betting providers seek to better serve their customers and support the local community. Without a responsible approach to gambling, there can be no gambling industry at all, which is why ongoing study and investigation is such an important part of the industry as it evolves.