Problem gambling has a significant financial and social cost. The social cost per pathological gambler ranges from $50K to $80,000. Many states have directed significant resources to address this problem. In Texas, for example, the state’s alcohol and drug abuse program also funds the Texas Council on Problem and Compulsive Gambling. Other states have sponsored prevalence studies and provided funds for treatment and public education. Some states fund these programs through the proceeds from state lottery games and from fees imposed on gaming activities.
Gambling is a major industry that generates a lot of cash. Organized crime has successfully gotten into the gambling industry and many of the ancillary businesses that profit from the gambling industry. One example of this is the expansion of video poker in the US. Allegedly, members of organized crime families paid legislators to influence the expansion of this industry.
There are many types of treatment programs for gambling addiction. Some are self-help programs, such as Gamblers Anonymous (GA). Some of these programs are not based on evidence-based treatments, but many have been shown to be effective. The programs include counseling and behavioral modification based on 12-step programs. Some programs may even include electric shock therapy as an aversion therapy. If you or a loved one suffers from gambling addiction, seeking treatment is an important step toward recovery.
In California, the state has laws governing the use of gambling facilities. The California State Library has an informative report on gambling laws. Additionally, FindLaw.com has an article detailing the laws of different states. However, it is important to note that these laws are constantly changing. A qualified gaming attorney can help you navigate the legal complexities surrounding gambling. They can explain to you what gambling is allowed and what you can’t do. They will also be able to explain the laws that govern gaming in the state.
In addition to the newest research on gambling addiction, researchers have also looked at the prevalence of problem gambling. The odds of problem gambling are directly related to gambling format, level of involvement, and type of gambling. In particular, casino gambling is associated with more problematic gambling behaviors than other formats. This makes it even more important to assess problem gambling early in its stages.
A recent Los Angeles Times article focused on Mafia attempts to control a California Indian gaming operation. While the attempts to control the casino industry ultimately failed, they revealed a long-running federal investigation that resulted in the conviction of former State Director of Finance Richard Silberman. It is important to note that illegal gambling remains illegal in many areas of the country.