As Colorado moves forward to a future with more and more access to gaming, it is prioritizing responsible gaming practices to preemptively combat a rise in irresponsible gambling.
The most recent step the state took toward that goal is hiring Amanda Quintana as the new Colorado Lottery Player Health Program Manager.
This is the first time Colorado has hired a full-time staffer to oversee player health, but it is by no means its first efforts to encourage responsible gaming practices.
Quintana will help Colorado maintain its status as one of the safest states for lottery
Colorado has three pillars when it comes to gaming. It has three gambling towns in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek where all Colorado casinos are located. Sports betting is also legal in both mobile and retail settings. Lastly, there is the Colorado Lottery, but no online casinos.
Up until now, the lottery has worked to include responsible gaming in Colorado into each respective department without much communication. With Quintana now at the helm as the Colorado Lottery Player Health Program, the state can begin to work toward more cohesion within the lottery.
This is one of the biggest benefits of having Quintana on board, Colorado Lottery Director Tom Seaver told FOX31.
“Previously, we had everyone kind of being responsible for their own piece. Now, with a full-time person on board, we can tap into industry experience and other best practices from other lotteries. We can be leaders within our organization to keep all those areas focused on doing their best.”
Quintana is well respected, and she is qualified to fill this role because of her prior experience. She has been involved in problem gambling for years and has additional time spent in public health. According to Seaver, public health and responsible gaming go hand in hand and her experience with both is another reason to be excited.
“Public health and safety are interlinked. We never had a person dedicated to player health.”
State’s goal is to be internationally recognized for RG
One of the big tasks on Quintana’s plate will be making sure the Colorado Lottery is awarded its level four responsible gaming certification from the World Lottery Association. That is the highest honor that can be given to a lottery and only nine states in the United States have that level of safety certification.
One step toward that goal is implementing vending machine ID scanners which keep underage kids from playing any type of gambling-oriented game. Colorado is the first state to implement such a safeguard. There are also underage sting operations that prevent minors from buying tickets.
Doing so many different things to address problem gambling is important to Seaver because he feels Colorado residents need to see that its government is doing what it can to keep players safe.
“I think it is just important that people in Colorado understand that we’re very committed to operating with safety and health in mind.”
This is just one of many ways Colorado continues to prioritize responsible gaming
Responsible gaming has always been a priority and that trend shows no signs of stopping even with a new Director of the Division of Gaming.
Problem gambling was weighed heavily when Colorado began looking for a new director. Eventually Chris Schroder earned the position, and he made it clear right away that gaming will always be a focus.
That self-exclusion program was launched alongside the Problem Gambling Coalition of Colorado less than one month later.
The first project is the Colorado Athlete Wellbeing Program which counters online harassment athletes receive from bettors. The second is the Colorado Military Problem Gambling Research, Education & Recovery Program.
There is also a 24-hour confidential helpline for people in Colorado looking for help. It is run by an affiliate of the National Council on Problem Gambling and is offered in both English and Spanish. The helpline number is (800) 522-4700. Anyone can also access it online at problemgamblingcoalitioncolorado.org.