While gambling of all types can be fun, for many people it can become a massive problem. Luckily, there are many rules in place to ensure licensees promote responsible gambling in Florida and offer education and support for those who need it.
Gambling companies spend a lot of money on marketing their business, but also have a responsibility to protect their patrons from going overboard. For example, each Florida licensee must pay an annual regulatory fee of $250,000. This money goes towards a compulsive or addictive gambling prevention program.
Operators across the country can find more information in the 2022 American Gaming Association (AGA) publication, Responsible Gaming Regulations and Statutes Guide.
Rules for providing a compulsive or addictive gambling prevention program
The first and biggest part of Florida’s responsible gambling regulations includes the requirement of a compulsive or addictive gambling prevention program. This involves the training of employees in identifying problem gamblers and educating them on practices.
Here is a look at some of the prevention program rules for licensees in Florida:
- Training employees on responsible gaming and working with a compulsive or addictive gambling prevention program to recognize problem gaming scenarios and enforce programs and practices
- Companies will contract out services related to a prevention program to provide advertising and encourage responsible gambling practices such as a gambling helpline.
- A program manager must ensure there is a program in place and that proper practices are upheld
- Advertisements are public and inside slot machine gaming areas at licensed facilities
- Printed materials will be available for both educating patrons about compulsive gambling and providing local and statewide resources to help them and their families should they need it
- There will be a log for employees detailing information on training within a reasonable time frame upon employment
- Annual follow-up training for employees
Helping compulsive gamblers help themselves
Addiction exists for a reason and if it were easy for someone to seek the help they would. There are many ways in which Florida casinos can help patrons take steps to help themselves.
Here are some parts of the regulations that can help problem gamblers:
- Self-exclusion: The prevention program will provide patrons the option to voluntarily exclude themselves from gambling activities for a certain period.
- Gambling helpline: Gambling facilities will provide a toll-free number to assist with information, confidential advice and referral services for those that need it
- Restrictions on extending house credit: Many casinos extend credit to their patrons based on certain criteria. In Florida, no slot machine licensee is allowed to provide a loan, credit, or cash advance.
- Checks cannot be cashed at the cashier: Except for employees, patrons are not able to cash any type of check at the cashier
- Restrictions on alcohol: No person playing a slot machine can receive complimentary or discount alcoholic beverages and must be paid for in full if ordered
The AGA provides additional information in their 2022 responsible gambling guide.
Responsible gambling resources in Florida
Florida takes problem gambling seriously and provides resources to anyone seeking help, both on state and federal levels. Here are three state-level avenues for those looking to seek help:
Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling
24-hour toll-free helpline: 888-ADMIT-IT (888-236-4848)
Prevention programs, treatment programs and education
Florida Lottery’s Play Responsibly
Sponsors an initiative called ‘Play Responsibly’
The website provides ‘The Player’s Guide’ for education and contacts
National Council on Problem Gambling
National helpline: 800-522-4700
A wealth of resources for education, treatment and prevention
On a federal level, the three most popular programs that provide helplines, education and treatment programs are:
- Gamblers Anonymous