The Virginia legislature considered a bill that would create a Problem Gambling Committee within the state. The committee would be tasked with studying the issue of problem gambling in the state and making recommendations for addressing it.
The bill, HB 2379, was introduced in the House of Delegates by Delegate Mark L. Keam and was referred to the Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee for review. If enacted, the Problem Gambling Committee would consist of 11 members, including representatives from the state’s Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, the Virginia Lottery, and the Virginia Gaming Commission, as well as individuals with expertise in the field of gambling addiction and recovery.
According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, approximately 2% of Americans struggle with problem gambling, which can lead to financial, personal, and relationship problems. In Virginia, the Virginia Gaming Commission reported that in 2020, over 5,000 individuals self-excluded themselves from casinos due to gambling problems. This suggests that there is a significant need for resources and support for individuals with gambling addiction in the state.
The creation of a Problem Gambling Committee in Virginia would provide a forum for addressing this issue and finding solutions to help those struggling with gambling addiction. It would also bring much-needed attention to the issue of problem gambling and help to destigmatize it as a mental health issue.
Overall, the establishment of a Problem Gambling Committee in Virginia is a step in the right direction for addressing the issue of gambling addiction in the state and helping those in need of support and resources.
- Virginia General Assembly. (2021). HB 2379. Retrieved from http://lis.virginia.gov/
- National Council on Problem Gambling. (n.d.). Problem Gambling Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.ncpgambling.org/
- Virginia Gaming Commission. (2020). 2020 Annual Report.