There has been no shortage of news during Problem Gambling Awareness Month. The latest development on the responsible gambling front is a long-overdue national problem gambling survey.
The survey is a collaborative effort between the National Association of Administrators of Disordered Gambling Services, EPIC Risk Management, Kindbridge, and Entain Foundation US.
According to a press release issued by EPIC, “the 2021 National Survey of Problem Gambling Services will take a deep dive into the intricacies, extent, and nature of problem gambling in all 50 states, the magnitude of which has not been surveyed since 2016.”
Data will get collected over a three-year period and “will be used and cited to properly inform legislation on both federal and state levels, establish state-by-state profiles of on-the-ground efforts to combat problem gambling, and provide insights about what more can be done in this space to administer vital resources to those most at-risk.”
You Can’t Track What You Don’t Measure
The survey should provide much-needed data at a time when the gambling industry is rapidly expanding. There’s no shortage of people and entities tracking the gambling industry to give the states revenue forecasts. Still, very few groups monitor gambling expansion’s social costs and harms to inform lawmakers and regulators. Worse, there is extraordinarily little contemporary research to point to.
The 2021 National Survey of Problem Gambling Services is expected to help plug that hole.
As Brianne Doura-Schawohl, VP of US Policy and Strategic Development at EPIC Risk Management, told Betting USA:
“Research and knowledge is power. It’s the only way we can strengthen effective policy efforts, prevention, and even treatment. Until we understand this disorder and how to effectively prevent it, we’ll never be successful truly tackling the issue.”
What the Collaborators are Saying
“When we first began formulating these partnerships, I knew that these organizations would be stronger together because we share the same goals to provide better research, prevention, treatment, and recovery for those who suffer from problem gambling,” notes Brianne Doura-Schawohl, VP of US Policy and Strategic Development at EPIC Risk Management. “For years, EPIC has been the leading organization globally for gambling awareness and prevention, but nothing with this depth or scale has been accomplished in the US before. Now, through the shared synergies of our new partners, such scale is achievable. We’re very enthusiastic to hit the ground running here in the States.”
“The Entain Foundation US is proud to have become a lead sponsor of the 2021 National Survey,” says Martin Lycka, Senior VP for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling and Trustee of the Entain Foundation. “The survey is designed to gather the most comprehensive information about responsible gambling services available in the United States. It will help the still young US online gambling market achieve the long-term success it deserves in a sustainable fashion.”
Stacey Frohnapfel-Hasson, President of NAADGS, notes, “As the state administrators for problem gambling prevention, treatment and recovery support for those individuals and families affected by harms from gambling, we know that every state needs to have a strong foundation of services for those affected. This survey will provide a valuable picture of how states are funding these services and where gaps exist.”
Daniel Umfleet, Founder & CEO of Kindbridge, says, “This piece of research is incredibly important for state legislatures, regulators, and industry stakeholders to better understand what the treatment and services infrastructure looks like across the country. This will give all of us working on solutions for people with gambling problems an appropriate road map to collaboratively build the necessary support functions as sports betting, esports, and online gambling become woven into the fabric of everyday gambling practice in the US.”