National Responsible Gaming Resolution Could Assist NC Regulators

The National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) drafted a resolution on responsible and problem gambling that can potentially shape sports betting regulations in North Carolina.

The NCLGS, at its summer meeting in Denver last week, unanimously approved the 2023 Responsible Gaming Resolution aimed at standardizing some best practices around responsible gambling

The yearly meeting is one of the nation’s largest events on legislative issues relating to the gaming industry. 

Sixteen best practice provisions are laid out in the resolution. They aim to direct states that have yet to legalize or are in the process of legalizing some form of gaming expansion to address responsible and problem gambling by employing various methods, including:

  • prevention;
  • harm reduction;
  • public awareness;
  • intervention and treatment research; and
  • adequate funding.

Increasing need to focus on responsible gambling

Although the provisions in the document are not mandated, the measure is a good indication that lawmakers are taking the issue of responsible gambling seriously and actively seeking the best path forward.

Indiana state Sen. Jon Ford, who serves as the president of the NCLGS, called to attention the greater need for looking at resources for responsible gambling now that more states are legalizing sports betting.

At the meeting, Ford also suggested that the measures would provide much-needed support to states as they grapple with the issue of sports betting regulation and online casino legislation and regulation. 

“Gaming in the United States is authorized and regulated at the state level,” Ford said, “but states need guidance as gaming grows. This two-year effort by legislators is the first to leverage what we have learned for the benefit of our members as they grapple with this critical need.”

Echoing the senator’s sentiments, NCLGS President-Elect Shawn Fluharty, a West Virginia delegate, said in a subsequent press release:

“The extraordinary, ongoing expansion of gaming into new forms across multiple states demands that lawmakers take necessary steps to protect their most vulnerable citizens. This resolution will help them meet that critical goal.”

Formulating the resolution

Developing the resolution required two years of extensive research that involved interviewing over 50 legislators, regulators, industry professionals, clinicians and community-based practitioners. 

While the resolution’s entire 16 points can be found on, here are a few of the salient provisions:

  1. One accredited national problem gambling helpline number within all jurisdictions;
  2. State or jurisdictional advertising guidelines to ensure that marketing is targeted only to those who are of legal age to gamble, that marketing follows standards not to offer content, themes, and promotions that have special appeal to those consumers most at risk for gambling problems, and to ensure there are programs that audit and monitor the content of third-party marketing affiliates;
  3. Policies and programs that enable customers to discontinue their play temporarily or permanently through exclusion programs from gaming activities statewide and across multiple jurisdictions with multiple term lengths;
  4. Coordination of gaming exclusion lists to prevent people with gambling problems and others on exclusion lists from problematic play in other states. 

“Addressing problem gambling is at the top of the agenda for all of us at NCLGS. We urge all states that offer gaming to consider the guidance offered in that historic resolution,” said NCLGS Vice President Christie Carpino, a state representative from Connecticut. 

Resolution could help North Carolina responsible gambling

States like North Carolina, which are in the midst of implementing legalized sports betting, stand to benefit immensely from the measure. 

One reason is that regulators could implement the resolution blueprint for responsible gambling in North Carolina. The North Carolina Lottery Commission, which will regulate the industry, has yet to meet on the issue. So, if it was to consider components of the resolution, it could do so without much retrofitting

The NCLC declined to comment on the resolution. 

North Carolina sports betting revenue benefits problem gambling

NC legislators made provisions in House Bill 347, which legalized online sports betting, for responsible and problem gambling programs. 

According to North Carolina’s new sports betting law, $2 million in tax revenue will be turned over to the North Carolina Problem Gambling Program (NCPGP) for gambling addiction education and treatment programs. 

The NCPGP, which operates under North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services, gets its sole funding from the North Carolina Education Lottery. 

NCLGS aims to keep states from reinventing the wheel

Founded in 1994, the NCLGS is the only organization of lawmakers that meets regularly to discuss issues germane to sports betting and online gaming. Members either chair or are part of committees that are responsible for the regulation of gaming in their state legislative houses. 

The organization, which neither endorses nor opposes gambling, is concerned with educating legislators on gaming issues, developing public policies related to state-authorized gaming and representing the states before Congress and other legislative bodies relating to gaming. 

As the 2023 Responsible Gaming Resolution indicates, the NCLGS wants to use the wisdom of experience to help states in the process of legalizing gambling avoid reinventing the wheel. This is, frankly, a good use of time, considering that problem gambling is a national concern. Five years and 30-plus states into legal sports betting, the collective legislative and experiential data from states with legal gambling should be put to this kind of use.

About the Author

Rashid Mohamed

Rashid Mohamed is a freelance news reporter covering sports, sports betting, gambling laws, and casino business for Catena Media. He writes for a number of sites including NCSharp, PlayTexas, PlayCA, and PlayOhio.