NJ casinos could be attracting younger gamblers

By Mia Chapman Updated
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The restrictions imposed at New Jersey casinos are attracting a younger crowd to the tables and pokies at Atlantic City.

NJ 1015 reports that as a local university plans to open hundreds of rooms to students along the main casino strip in Atlantic City, responsible gambling advocates warn younger minds have a better chance of getting hooked on addictive behaviours.

“We have a concern over any young person under the age of 25. The adult brain does not fully develop until the age of 25,” executive director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey Neva Pryor said.

According to president of the Casino Association of New Jersey Steve Callender, some Atlantic City gambling halls “are seeing a younger crowd” since they reopened on July 2 as part of New Jersey’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While some of our regular guests have not returned just yet, we anticipate the average age of our guests to increase when our restaurants reopen, when guests can drink on the casino floor or when they become familiar with the safety measures our casinos have in place,” Callender said in an email.

Callender said Atlantic City may be particularly appealing to a younger demographic due to unprecedented low summer hotel rates.

Pryor added that older players may be avoiding brick and mortar casinos because of COVID-19, which presents greater health risks when contracted by older individuals.

On July 24, Galloway-based Stockton University said students will be able to live at Showboat Atlantic City Hotel, a former casino located between Hard Rock Hotel Casino and Ocean Casino Resort.

“The closer you are to a casino, the more likely you are to have an issue. That’s well known in the industry,” Pryor said.

“The younger a person engages in addictive behaviour, the more likely they’ll have a problem later on. And that goes on with not just gambling, but with chemical addictions as well.”

Pryor said the council is neither for nor against gambling; they just want people to know there is help available when wagering becomes a problem.

International association critical of Australia’s sports gambling market

Australia could do more to create a safer sports gambling market.

That’s the view of the International Betting Integrity Association, which said that Australia has existing guidelines to keep corruption and match fixing out of sports, but it could be better.

Calvin Ayre reported in July that IBIA is making suggestions for ways to improve Australia’s Sports Wagering Scheme framework, and it is up to Aussie regulators to decide whether or not to take the input on board.

The IBIA participated in an open call by gaming regulators in Australia to review the ASWS.

It was made so the government could receive feedback on its sports integrity initiatives.

IBIA recommends the removal of in-play betting restrictions, which it asserts will help protect the legal sports gambling market and further push out black market operators.

Previous reports have indicated underground gambling in the country is worth as much as A$2 billion.

Australian lawmakers and gaming regulators are considering the launch of a new regulatory body to oversee sports gambling.

Sport Integrity Australia would be used as a centralised data collection agency for all the country’s syndicated professional sports and would implement an integrity task force to monitor all sports wagers.

The creation of SIA came as part of a large review of Australia’s gambling scene.

As the name suggests, the 2018 Wood Review was presented two years ago and the IBIA feels Australia hasn’t done enough to implement the changes it recommended.

“It is particularly disappointed the government has not supported the Wood Review’s recommendation on in-play betting to properly address the integrity challenges presented by offshore betting, notably unregulated or poorly regulated Asian betting operators.

“The absence of an effective and coherent policy on in-play betting is detrimental to the regulated market.”

The IBIA also believes the SIA may not be necessary and wants the government to prove its value.

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