(IR)RESPONSIBLE Gambling, The NCPG, and The Illinois Council on Problem Gambling

I chose to not renew my membership with The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG). I had recently cancelled my membership with the Illinois Council which is an affiliate with the NCPG. Both of the organizations are “neutral” on the topic of gambling. Not quite sure what that means when they both are affiliated with the gambling industry. For example if I counted correctly six of the ten members of the NCPG Advisory Board are from the gambling industry. I do not know of the individuals from the industry so I want to be careful of painting with too broad of a brush. I will use that brush to say in general I do not believe that the gambling industry gives a heck about the systems affected by a gambling disorder.

I would recommend looking at the NCPG website. They have done some good work especially in bringing awareness to legislators around the country. The Illinois Council in my opinion is in existence to give out CEUs. I have not seen them make much of an impact in the community under their present administration.

On the NCPG website they use the terms responsible gambling and responsible gaming. I do not like the use of gaming as a euphemism for gambling. One example of where I think they lean towards the industry is their recommendation for access to money at gambling establishments. They want the consumer to fully informed. I do not read anything in their recommendations to do what the Brits do, except mention it, in not allowing credit cards to be used for gambling.

I do not read any burdens on the gambling establishments. How about doing financial suitability applications with every gambler. How about doing spousal approval before any monetary transactions. How would it hurt the gambler if they had to state before their first bet what limit they wanted on their losses. How about a time limit. Some of these I mentioned in a previous piece that the Brits are doing presently.

I titled this piece with the question of what is irresponsible and responsible. I want to be on record that I believe there is nothing responsible about gambling in any context. If you want to use it as a social activity please do. The term responsible gambling is almost always used exclusively to blame the gambler for not being responsible for crossing the line into gambling disorder. Until the law changes to hold gambling establishments and governmental bodies responsible for their actions will I accept the term responsible in any context of gambling.

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