Legislators in Virginia to establish a new state committee on problem gambling

Posted: Jan 09, 2023 13:14 Category: Americas , Regulatory , Responsible Gaming , Posted by Maria Debrincat

Virginia Senator Bryce Reeves and Delegate Paul Krizek are prioritising gambling issues in a newly proposed bill  

As gambling becomes more accessible in the US, and the state competes for additional tax revenue from the lottery, casinos, sportsbooks, horse racing, and slot machines, Virginia legislators are pushing to establish a new state committee tackling gaming addiction and addressing a feared rise in problem gambling.

Delegate Paul Krizek (left) and Senator Bryce Reeves.

A bill to establish a committee that would work to lessen the negative impacts of compulsive gambling has been introduced by Senator Bryce Reeves and Representative Paul Krizek.

According to Reeves and Krizek, Virginia has to do more to assist those who are at risk of developing gambling disorders. That comes after the Commonwealth’s legal gambling choices were significantly increased in the state.

According to a poll done in 2021, which revealed that more than 21% of Virginia high school students had gambled or placed a bet in the previous year, Krizek made the case that state legislators should prioritise helping young adults with their gambling issues.
Senator Reeves also stated, “As Virginia moves forward with the expansion of gaming, it’s important that we understand the ills that come with it.”

The new law mandates that the state’s Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, which currently addresses addiction and mental health concerns, form a Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Advisory Committee. The organization’s goal would be to facilitate collaboration between the gaming business and treatment centres in order to attempt to mitigate the harmful impacts of problem gambling.

The Virginia Council on Problem Gambling, a nonprofit organisation that runs the state’s gambling helpline, will be represented on the committee, which will be presided over by the problem gambling prevention coordinator and include representatives of all state agencies involved in gambling regulation and the gambling industry.  The council is required by law to point people struggling with addiction toward outside resources in a bid to get the aid needed.

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