The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) welcomes Congressman Tonko’s, as well as any other member of Congress’s, interest in federal involvement in problem gambling. NCPG is neutral on legalized gambling and does not endorse nor oppose the Betting on Our Future Act.
NCPG remains focused on the current lack of federal funding designated for problem gambling treatment or research. Unlike the billions of dollars of federal funding dedicated to alcohol, tobacco and drug addiction programs, there are no federal funds allocated to support problem gambling services.
As sports betting expands, the risk of gambling problems does as well. Between 2018 and 2021, NCPG estimates that the risk of gambling addiction grew by 30%. NCPG has also seen significant increases in calls, texts and chats to the National Problem Gambling Helpline — roughly a 45% increase in calls between 2021 and 2022. A comprehensive publicly funded problem gambling program addressing prevention, treatment and research services nationwide is urgently needed to protect the public and reduce the social costs of gambling related harm.
As new forms of gambling are legalized rapidly across the country, now is the time for the federal government to play a role in mitigating the negative consequences that come from gambling. NCPG stands ready and willing to assist members of Congress or the Executive branch in determining and implementing policies that will reduce the rate of problem gambling.
About the National Council on Problem Gambling
The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) is neutral on legalized gambling. Based in Washington DC, NCPG is the only national nonprofit organization that seeks to minimize the economic and social costs associated with gambling addiction. If you or someone you know may have a gambling problem, contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline, which offers hope and help without stigma or shame. Call or text 1-800-GAMBLER or visit www.1800gamblerchat.org. Help is available 24/7 and it is free and confidential.