Key Characteristics of Responsible Gaming

August 11, 2014

The American Gaming Association (AGA) has developed the following key messages and definition of terms to improve the industry’s understanding, approach and execution of educating employees and  patrons about responsible gaming practices to keep gaming as it’s intended to be fun.

Addiction, regardless of the type, is a serious issue. No one wins when someone struggles with addiction, which is why our industry puts tremendous resources behind getting people help and educating patrons and employees alike about the signs of addiction. To unify the industry’s voice and to improve access to more information on this important issue, The AGA has developed the following key messages and definition of terms to improve the industry’s understanding, approach and execution of educating employees and patrons about responsible gaming. 

Key Messages

Millions of Americans every year enjoy gaming, leading to tremendous growth in markets across the country. 
Despite increased access to gaming, approximately one percent of Americans have a gambling disorder – a statistic that has remained fairly stable over the past three decades from study to study despite time, location and various methodologies employed by researchers. 

Nearly half (49%) of pathological gamblers were treated for other mental disorders. 
On average, 82 percent of American adults gamble every year. From lotteries and NCAA brackets to bingo and raffles, the vast majority of Americans enjoy this form of entertainment without any harm. 

Characteristics of responsible gaming are: 

  • Understanding that the house holds greater odds of winning than the player. Casino visitors are educated: Nearly half (46%) of casino visitors are college graduates – 16 percentage points higher than the national rate of Americans with bachelor degrees. 
  • Social activity with friends, family or colleagues – Nearly two-thirds (63%) of casino goers say they visit casinos for the same reasons they enjoy other entertainment, like shopping, going to a ball game, or attending a concert: to “have fun and socialize with friends and family.” 
  • Limited amounts of time both in frequency and duration. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of casino visitors leave the property to spend money at neighboring local small businesses and other attractions. 
  • Predetermined budget and acceptable limits for losses – when casino visitors gamble, 76 percent set a budget. For a majority (54%) it’s less than $200. 

The gaming industry has been committed to increasing awareness and understanding of gambling disorder and responsible gaming through their support of the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG). Since 1996, casino companies, manufacturers and individuals have given more than $25 million to further the NCRG’s mission. 

Responsible Gaming materials may be ordered through the American Gaming Association.


press release contact
Caroline Ponseti

(202) 552-2675