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Potential Federal Funding for Gambling Addiction Treatment Introduced

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The Gambling Addiction Recovery, Investment and Treatment (GRIT) Act, a groundbreaking US bill, has recently been introduced by US Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and US Representative Andrea Salinas of Oregon.

The aim is to create a federal funding stream for the first time specifically for preventing, treating, and researching gambling addiction.

Widespread Public Health Concerns

Gambling addiction is a public health issue, affecting roughly 7 million Americans and causing annual social and economic damage that costs an estimated £7 billion.

Between 2018 and 2021, the risk of developing a gambling addiction increased by 30%. Despite this rise, there's an absence of federal support for gambling addiction treatment or research and it is this gap that the GRIT Act is designed to fill.

The GRIT Act reflects a pivotal step towards long-overdue support for those grappling with gambling addiction. We commend Senator Blumenthal and Representative Salinas for their dedication to addressing the burgeoning public health crisis of gambling addiction. The NCPG stands in full support of this legislation, recognizing its potential to make a lasting difference in the lives of individuals and families across the nation.

Susan Sheridan TuckerPresident of the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) Board of Directors

How the GRIT Act Distributes Funding

A core component of the GRIT Act is the allocation of 50% of the current federal sports excise tax revenue to combat gambling addiction. The US Department of Health and Human Services will oversee these funds, with 75% distributed to states for addiction prevention and treatment. The remaining 25% will go to the National Institute of Drug Abuse for research. The Act enables spending for ten years, and it initiative also requires a congressional report on its effectiveness within three years.

The NCPG has working on various initiatives to promote responsible gambling. In December 2023, the council partnered with SG: certified to improve the assessment process of its Internet Compliance Assessment Program (iCAP).

The NCPG also announced its Fall 2023 Agility Grants, contributing $176,000 to five non-profits focused on problem gambling prevention as part of its commitment to provide over $1 million in funding between 2022 and 2024.

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