Washington, DC - The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), the leading national organization for people and their families who are affected by problem gambling and gambling addiction, is honored to be included in the launch of GVC Holdings’ new United States Foundation, which will support NCPG’s work on behalf of military personnel and veterans affected by gambling addiction.
GVC Holdings announced the GVC Foundation US on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at Seton Hall University Law School in New Jersey. Brianne Doura, NCPG Legislative Director, served as a panelist at the event, speaking about the unique prevalence and dangers of problem gambling in the military and within the veteran population.
Doura reported that there are an estimated 56,000 servicemembers with a gambling problem, while veterans are 2-3 times more likely to have a gambling addiction than the civilian population. Each year, the over 3,000 slot machines on overseas bases generate $100 million in revenue from military members and their families. Currently, none of that money goes to help those struggling with gambling.
“The GVC Foundation US support of NCPG is essential to continue our efforts and to increase awareness & advocacy of gambling problems on behalf of those that have served this country,” said Doura. “Gambling addiction in the military exists, posing a serious health, policy, and national security risk.”
“NCPG actively works on behalf of the military, through efforts such as the Gambling Addiction Prevention (GAP) Act,” said Keith Whyte, Executive Director of NCPG. “GVC was the first gambling operator to support the GAP Act. I am honored by and proud of GVC’s efforts to protect our troops from problem gambling.”
The GAP Act would require the Department of Defense (DOD) to develop policies and programs to prevent and treat gambling problems, in coordination with the Department’s other behavioral health efforts. This follows a 2017 study from the Government Accountability Office, championed by NCPG, on the prevalence of problem gambling and gambling addiction in active duty military personnel.
While members of the military are more likely to have a gambling problem, due to the stigmas associated with the disorder, less than ten percent of those with gambling problems seek help. The lack of protections against gambling addiction extend beyond active duty members: a 2019 study of veterans with gambling disorder discovered that they are twice as likely to attempt suicide as compared to veterans who do not have a gambling addiction, and 40% of veterans seeking problem gambling treatment report suicide attempts. Loved ones, family members, and community members can all be adversely affected, as well.
The support for NCPG from GVC Foundation US presents an exciting opportunity to continue our advocacy for and protection of military servicemembers and veterans, and the United States of America, from problem gambling.
About the National Council on Problem Gambling
NCPG is the national advocate for people and families affected by problem gambling. NCPG is neutral on legalized gambling and works with all stakeholders to promote responsible gambling. Learn more about NCPG’s efforts to protect the military from problem gambling at ncpgambling.org/gap-act.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call or text the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network at 1-800-522-4700 or visit ncpgambling.org/chat for confidential help.