Therapist Reginald Terry: Gambling platforms must have accountability

By Peter Lynch

Detroit-based therapist Reginald Terry says that gambling platforms must have accountability when ensuring the safety of players.

In an interview, which was provided by UScasinos.com, Terry suggested that all gambling platforms in the US should be regulated, and that even those that are regulated should be doing more to combat compulsive gambling behaviours.

“There must be accountability,” says Terry. “I do not support unregulated sites. Gambling platforms must safeguard against youth gaining access to their sites, as well as ensuring that identities are not being stolen.

“Additionally, gambling platforms must ensure the safety of patrons’ money. Withdrawals should not be problematic. Gambling is risky enough; however, allowing unregulated sites to operate in the US is the biggest gamble of them all. All gambling platforms should be regulated.”

The concerns arise as the US online gaming market gets bigger and bigger, with more and more states legalising online gambling. While brick-and-mortar casinos are making a return after closing their doors throughout the pandemic, Terry believes that, due to issues like aggressive marketing, it is the online casinos that pose a greater threat.

“I believe online casinos are more aggressive with their marketing,” he says. “Using terms such as “risk free bets”. There is no such thing as a “risk-free” bet. Allowing people to recoup their losses (without consequences) only encourages irresponsible gambling. Moreover, online casinos have a heavy presence on social media.”

Terry, who gained a Master’s Degree in Community counselling in 2008, is currently a staff member at the Center for Establishing Recovery. There, he specialises in cases relating to mental health, substance abuse and gambling.

The therapist also highlighted one demographic that particularly struggles with problem gambling; teenagers. Terry says that, while the behaviour of groups like family members and peers can be very influential for young people, video games with loot boxes can also be an issue.

But the main problem, he says, lies with unregulated gambling sites, with little, if anything, done to verify the user’s identity and/or age.

Companies can, however, overcome this issue by offering checks and balances to verify users, notes Terry. Parents can also be educated on the warning signs of problem gambling among youth, while “utilising youth problem gambling screening tools in schools and mental health programs may also help.”

Terry’s full interview can be found in the latest issue of GI Friday.

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