While Easing Gambling Restrictions, States Work to Limit Addiction

By Staff Writer

Many states, including Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Maryland, are working to expand gambling laws to allow more forms of wagering. This has raised concern among addiction rehab workers that individuals who are affected by gambling addiction will be made more vulnerable by the new laws.

However, expanded gambling laws are in some cases being accompanied by improvements to safety net programs designed to assist anyone who loses control of a betting habit.

For example, lawmakers in Maryland, where two casinos were recently licensed, have announced that the state will also add gambling addiction training programs for counselors and a hotline for individuals who feel they have a problem with the laws expanding gambling, according to the Baltimore Sun.

State representatives told the news source that supporting gambling addiction rehab programs is long overdue. Due to the fact that the problem is less obvious than other forms of addiction, it can go unnoticed. But the move to bring casinos to the state necessitates enhanced support.

Other states with legal gambling, like Oregon, have made similar efforts to reduce the prevalence of addiction. The state’s Office of Addiction Services says that it invests more than $6 million per year to fight the problem.