NCLGS 2014 Summer Meeting
June 7, 2014
Keith Whyte, Executive Director
About NCPG
• The national advocate for programs and
services to assist problem gamblers and
their families.
• NEUTRAL on legalized gambling.
• Founded in 1972.
• Chapters in 36 of 50 states, including NJ.
• Work with government, gaming industry,
regulators, legislators, media & community.
What Is Social Gaming?
• Gaming that doesn’t meet the legal definition
of gambling.
• Remove prize, chance or consideration
• Freemium model
• Sweepstakes
• Digsogames: a recreational activity characterized by
organized play, competition, 2 or more players (or player vs.
a device), criteria for determining a winner, agreed upon rules
using digital technology. These games are distinct from
gambling games and do not have any financial or monetary
DSM 5 Gambling Addiction Definition
1. Needs to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the
desired excitement.
2. Is restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling.
3. Has made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling.
4. Is often preoccupied with gambling (e.g., having persistent thoughts of reliving past
gambling experiences, handicapping or planning the next venture, thinking of ways
to get money with which to gamble).
5. Often gambles when feeling distressed (e.g., helpless, guilty, anxious, depressed).
6. After losing money gambling, often returns another day to get even (“chasing”
one’s losses).
7. Lies to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling.
8. Has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, or educational or career
opportunity because of gambling.
9. Relies on others to provide money to relieve desperate financial situations caused
by gambling.
• “Carefully designed to take advantage of state sweepstakes
laws and to avoid state antigambling laws and gambling
licensing restrictions, Internet sweepstakes cafes are
estimated to earn more than $10 billion a year with games
that closely mimic the experience of traditional slot and video
poker machines…Based on a random allocation of winning
and losing entries, the customer may or may not win cash
prizes through those games. According to the cafes that are
reaping unregulated profits, this elaborate masquerade is not
gambling, but a sweepstakes. According to every appellate
court that has decided a case involving similar games, it is
incontestably gambling.”
Charitable Social Casino Gaming
Social Gaming Concerns
Limited age or KYC verification.
Video & social gaming correlated with gambling.
Early onset of gambling correlated with PG.
Some SG features associated with addiction.
Recreational gamblers may not converge, but PGs
• Normal population prevalence of PG = 2-3 million
among worldwide monthly players.
• Unclear oversight & no standards.
• Sector evolving at light speed.
Whale Tales
“A whale is a
whale,” Barden said.
“We had one player
that spent $13,000
over 3 months on
one of our freeto-play games”.””
SG Fail
Challenging Assumptions
• Regulation will “kill” social gaming.
 Has greatly benefited many industries, especially
• Monetary prizes are an essential component of
gambling addiction.
 For addicts, its not about the money.
• SG operators are not obligated or required to be
 Responsible gambling is good customer service, builds
public support, mitigates individual harms and ensures
Social Gaming GRADE
Gambling-Like Monetized Games
Responsible Gaming/Consumer Protection
Age Controls
Data Driven Research
Education Of Players
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