Governor’s Report on Compulsive Gambling: A Report to the Minnesota Legislature

  • author:

    (author unknown or not listed) (none)
  • published in

    : 2007
  • summary

    : The Minnesota Legislature requires the Governor to prepare a report addressing compulsive gambling. It is due every odd numbered year and covers the nature and extent of gambling and gambling addiction in Minnesota, resources available to prevent or treat addiction and recommendations for future policy direction. A COMPULSIVE GAMBLER is a person who is chronically and progressively preoccupied with gambling, and with the urge to gamble to the extent that the gambling behavior compromises, disrupts, or damages personal, family or vocational pursuits. Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245.98, subdivision 1 Compulsive Gambling Treatment Program Gambling is nearly universal. The ancient Egyptians played board games as long ago as 4000 B.C. In the last decade, there has been an increased social acceptance of gambling and ready accessibility of gambling opportunities. A majority of people gamble responsibly for recreation and entertainment. But for some, what starts as recreation can get out of control, and the results can be disastrous. What is problem gambling? Problem gambling is gambling behavior which causes disruptions in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social or vocational. The term "Problem Gambling" includes, but is not limited to, the condition known as "Pathological", or "Compulsive" Gambling, a progressive addiction characterized by increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, "chasing" losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences. (National Council on Problem Gambling, 2006) By the time most gambling addicts seek help, they are experiencing major financial problems. Most states that offer legalized gambling also offer subsidized gambling addiction treatment, often paid for by lottery sales and slot machine proceeds. (Association of Problem Gambling Service Administrators survey results, 2006) Minnesota has had a compulsive gambling program in place since the Lottery began in 1990. Most of the funding for compulsive gambling treatment, public education and research is provided from unclaimed Lottery prize funds. The program is administered through the Department of Human Services. Treatment Options The field is still relatively new and treatment is considered by many third party payers as experimental and therefore, not reimbursable. Currently, Minnesota residents have a choice of 131 state approved outpatient gambling treatment providers and a variety of treatment modalities. An inpatient facility serves individuals who have co-occurring disorders from across the state. There is, however, a shortage of providers in the central and southwestern parts of the state. Funding from the Department of Human Services is available to providers who treat persons with compulsive/problem gambling and their families who have no other source of reimbursement for treatment. In FY 06, state funding supported 186 individuals served in the inpatient setting and 965 as outpatients. These numbers do not reflect those for whom there were other sources of reimbursement. Helpline The State funds a free, confidential 24 hour service that is available by calling The Minnesota Problem Gambling Helpline (800) 333-HOPE. In FY 06, the Helpline received an average of 433 calls per month with 196 of them requesting information or referrals to treatment services. Public Awareness Public awareness efforts have focused on a range of prevention and intervention strategies, including collaborative initiatives to address the diverse and ever changing Minnesota population. Over the past two years, attention has also focused on young adults as they enter to college or university. The DHS program website provides tools for gambling treatment providers to bring awareness to their communities. Other national and international organizations also promote public awareness and education. Research Two research studies have been implemented in the last year to identify and explore issues related to gambling. There remains a need for greater clarity around how and why individuals develop gambling problems. Long Range Goals of the Department of Human Services compulsive gambling program • Help problem gamblers and their families become self-sufficient • Reduce the negative consequences of problem gambling on families, employers, and the community at large • Inform the general public about the warning signs of problem gambling to intercept the progression of many problem gamblers to pathological states • Expand the knowledge base regarding problem gambling.
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  • type

    : report
  • publisher

    : Minnesota Department of Human Services
  • original language

    : English
  • Article entered in GambLIB database on sept. 22. 2009, 14:09
  • Item added by staff