Boston (WWLP) - The Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling (“MCCG”) is calling for more treatment centers focused on gambling addiction. Up to 3 resort-style casinos and one slots parlor could be licensed in Massachusetts next year.
“We would obviously want to partner with a lot of agencies and organizations to make sure that they are ready when the doors of the casino open wherever that might be in western Massachusetts,” said MCCG Executive Director Marlene Warner.
The Gandara Center and Holyoke Medical Center offer treatment programs for gambling in western Massachusetts, but addiction experts hope to expand their outreach.
“I think there’s a lot of work that can be done with churches, with schools, with certainly all the colleges in those areas to build a lot more of the protective factors that are needed to address gambling problems,” said Warner.
A study by the Council says 25 to 34-year-olds are at a higher risk of acquiring a gambling addiction. MCCG Data Director Phil Kopel said other indicators include depression or substance abuse.
“Mood disorders, issues relating to alcohol addiction, drug addiction, sex addictions,” said Kopel.
The study found that compulsive gambling is equal among people of all income levels and it doesn’t make a difference if they’re financially literate or not. People are more likely to become compulsive gamblers if a family member suffers from gambling addiction. Addiction experts are hoping to employ more family-focused therapies and assistance in the future.