Problem Gambling is Not Important

by Jan 3, 2019Opinion Pieces

Problem gambling is not important. In fact, it’s such a low priority that it’s not even worth discussing.


Fine. Go read the bills yourself and then tell me why I’m wrong.

New Bills. Same Old Approach.

Of the states that have already passed bills to expand gambling, there has been almost no expansion of funding for problem gambling services which would include much-needed funding for research, education, prevention, and treatment programs.

And it’s not like we have world-leading programs already in place. Our infrastructure (if you can even call it that) was skin and bones prior to expansion and any additional need created by an increase in problem gamblers will apply even more pressure to the small number of people working with a small amount of funding.

If we’re being completely transparent, the folks I point out that are doing a lot with a little are the lucky ones. The 2016 Survey of Problem Gambling Services in the United States prepared by Problem Gambling Statistics, Inc in collaboration with the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) highlights that 5 states (AK, AR, HI, ID, UT) and the District of Columbia combine to contribute $0 to problem gambling services. At least Texas contributed a whopping $40.

So again, I point out that problem gambling is simply not important. If it were, states would be funding programs.

But What About Federal Funding?

I hate to break it to you, but it also appears to be $0 according to the same report. There’s talk of a new federal bill which would devote money to problem gambling, but it seems to be a long way off.

It Seems So Easy. But It’s Just Not Important

The frustration over past lack of funding can easily be corrected by new bills that could devote much needed funding as a compromise to expanded sports betting, daily fantasy and whatever else might be next.

It would be a win/win.

But problem gambling isn’t important and therefore the trend of reaping tax benefits for the state while giving the Heisman stiff arm to problem gambling funding will continue on.

Sports and the ability to bet on them are important in the USA.

Problem gambling? It’s not important.