Rate of Problem Gambling Treatment Increases in Montana; New Outreach Campaign Begins Soon

As the state’s rate of treatment for problem gambling grows, the Montana Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Montana Council on Problem Gambling are partnering to remind the public that help is available.

The Montana Council on Problem Gambling, a nonprofit organization which funds outpatient treatment for problem gambling through contracts with over 24  providers in the state, reports the need for help has been steadily increasing.  Last year, the Council served almost 1,700 patients compared to around 1,400 in 2016.

“Problem gambling is a behavior that damages relationships, runs up large debts, and sometimes leads to criminal activity,” said Attorney General Tim Fox.  “People with gambling problems are found in every demographic of our society.  Warning signs include a preoccupation with gambling, a need to gamble with increasing amounts of money, and trying to make up losses by additional gambling.  I encourage folks who think they have a problem to call the Montana Council on Problem Gambling’s helpline today for a treatment referral.”

Brad Longcake, Executive Director of Montana Council on Problem Gambling, said, “Issues with gambling go hand in hand with other addictive tendencies, but problem gambling tends to be treated less often.  The growing need for accessible resources in Montana presents us with the challenge to do our best to help families and individuals coping with the effects of problem gambling.”

DOJ’s Gambling Control Division, in conjunction with the Montana Council on Problem Gambling, is collaborating on an outreach campaign to increase awareness of problem gambling and provide help for those in need of support. Coasters advertising the Montana Council on Problem Gambling’s free 24-hour problem gambling helpline will be distributed across the state soon.  Individuals who need help are encouraged to call the helpline at (888) 900-9979 or one of the Gamblers Anonymous hotlines available in Montana.

For more information, visit www.dojmt.gov/gaming.