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Gambling Addiction in the Military

New bill seeks to prevent and treat gambling problems among service members

According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, an estimated 56,000 active duty service members may meet the criteria for gambling disorder. In 2018 alone, military members lost $100 million on 3,000 slot machines at overseas bases. The prevalence of gambling disorder in the military is a serious health issue – and poses a clear national security concern.

In response to the issue, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) reintroduced the bipartisan Gambling Prevention Act of 2019 in the Senate. The legislation requires the Department of Defense to develop policies and programs to prevent and treat problem gambling among service members. 

On military sites where gambling takes place, those policies and programs would include educational materials that promote responsible gambling behaviors. It would also required the Department of Defense to update its regulations, instructions and guidance on behavioral health to specifically include gambling disorder.

The legislation is endorsed by a number of organizations and represents an important step forward in protecting the men and women who serve our country.

For more information on the bill, click here.

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