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Welcome to the the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling
We understand the problem. We can help.

We are a private, non-profit health agency
dedicated to reducing the social, financial, and emotional costs of problem gambling.

 

Help for a gambling disorder

HELP FOR YOU

Do you feel that gambling may be a problem for you?

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Help for Professionals

HELP FOR PROFESSIONALS

Do you feel that gambling could be a problem for someone you’re helping?

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Help for Families

HELP FOR FAMILIES

Do you feel someone you love might be gambling too much?

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Quick Gambling Facts

Gambling: 1a) to play a game for money or property, 1b) to bet on an uncertain outcome 2) to stake something on a contingency: take a chance
Gambling Disorder: or gambling addiction (formerly known as pathological gambling), is a persistent and recurrent problematic gambling behavior that causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning
Recent research has estimated the number of U.S. citizens who gamble, the number who met the criteria for having a clinical gambling disorder and also for those who have a gambling disorder but have not met the diagnostic criteria that would be considered "sub-clinical" or "problem gamblers."
  • Gambling rate: research has estimated that nearly 80% of the U.S. population has gambled during their lifetime.
  • Disordered Gambler rate: research has estimated that approximately 1% of the U.S. population have met the disordered gambler clinical criteria in their lifetime.
  • Problem gambler rate: research has estimated that approximately 2% have experienced sub-clinical problem gambling in their lifetimes. The Mass. Council recognizes that approximately 2-3% of the population has experienced disordered gambling in their lifetimes.
  • Disordered gambling in Massachusetts: based on national estimates, between 150,000 and 200,000 Massachusetts residents likely have experienced disordered gambling during their lifetimes.
Anyone can develop a problem with gambling, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, or socio-economic status. Though disordered gambling does not discriminate, research has shown that the following groups are more susceptible to the addiction of the disorder.
Higher Frequency of Gambling Disorder
  • Males
  • Single adults
  • Those exposed to gambling environments (friends and family who gamble)
  • Those who started to gamble at a younger age
  • Excitement-seeking personality traits
  • Childhood maltreatment
  • Parental gambling involvement
  • Gamblers who smoke cigarettes
  • Gamblers with alcohol or drug dependence
  • Gamblers with obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Gamblers with higher anxiety or depression
  • Gamblers with higher impulsivity and antisocial personality traits
  • Gamblers who report gambling on electronic gambling machines (e.g. slot machines)
  • College Students
  • In adults, frequency of online gambling has been associated with gambling problems
  • Internet gambling has also been associated with heavy alcohol consumption in adults.
  • Data suggest that internet gambling may be strongly associated with disordered gambling and other adverse measures in adults.
  • Adolescent Internet gamblers are more likely to exhibit at-risk disordered gambling behavior than non-Internet adolescent gamblers
Help for people experiencing problems with gambling, their family members, and the greater community is available:
  • The Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling operates a free, confidential Helpline (800-426-1234), and online chat.
  • The Mass. Council also provides a website geared towards teenagers: teensknowyourlimits.org
  • The Mass. Council trains clinicians and maintains a list of professionals who have earned their Massachusetts Problem Gambling Specialist Certificate (MA PGS).
  • The Massachusetts Department of Public Health funds treatment centers throughout the state.
  • Many people experiencing problems with gambling join Gamblers Anonymous (GA) or Bettors Anonymous (BA).
  • Spouses, significant others, and family members of people experiencing problems with gambling can attend Gam-Anon, a fellowship that meets to share experiences about living with a disordered gambler.
  • For more information or to have a packet of materials sent to you, please call the Mass. Council Helpline (800-426-1234), the business line (617-426-4554), e-mail the Council at info@masscompulsivegambling.org, or visit 190 High Street, Suite 5, Boston, MA 02110-3031

Latest News and Blog Posts

Upcoming Events

  • Training Institute

    COUNCIL ANNOUNCES UPCOMING TRAINING. Registration is Required. Space is Limited. Springfield, MA: Join us on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 - April 28, 2016; 3pm to 7pm for our Training Institute presented by C. Baxter Chandler, LICSW. (skipping week of April 13th for annual conference) The Mass. Council on Compulsive Gambling Training Institute’s goal is to increase the number of service providers in the treatment and service of Gambling Disorder; increase the community’s access to comprehensive and competent care, increase service and treatment delivery, and improve treatment outcomes. The Mass. Council on Compulsive Gambling Training Institute provides a comprehensive delivery of gambling specific trainings for social service providers in order to build the capacity of knowledge in the area of Gambling Disorder. The training institute meets from 3pm-7pm, once per week for eight weeks. At the conclusion of the eight week training process, individuals will be able to meet the MA PGS training standards and certificate training requirements. Location: CHD - 342 Birnie Ave, Springfield, MA 01107 Cost: $275 Clock Hours: 32

    Visit http://bit.ly/1nZBIGN to sign up today!

    For more information, please contact Director of Development and Communications, Krystle Kelly, at 617-426-4554, or Krystle@masscompulsivegambling.org Sponsored by: The Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and Bureau of Substance Abuse Services. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, or are a person with a disability who requires accommodation, please contact Director of Development and Communications, Krystle Kelly, at 617.426.4554, Fax: 617.426.4555, TTY: 617.426.1855 by February 19, 2016 for accommodations. NBCC ACEP No. 6331
  • Working with Families Affected by Gambling Disorder

    COUNCIL ANNOUNCES UPCOMING TRAINING. Registration is Required. Space is Limited. Northampton, MA: Join us on Friday, March 4, 2016; 10am to 4pm for a training titled, “Working with Families Affected by Gambling Disorder.” This training will be presented by Mary Lou Costanzo, LCSW, NCGC. This course will focus on helping clinicians learn how to engage and treat the entire family of problem gamblers and begin the path of recovery from this addiction. All aspects of the effects on family members will be discussed, including the financial impact on the family, the emotional ramifications, including trust, and the psychological consequences for many family members. Often times, family members are left untreated with serious, painful effects from their loved ones’ gambling. While the financial impact is the most obvious, the other effects, including severe depression, trauma and an inability to function, are often present as well. The clinician is in a unique position to offer help and support to these family members, but must begin with knowledge of this addiction and how family members can address the pain caused. Family members must be offered help, hope and support, and a clear understanding of how they may be able to protect themselves and function better in their world. Objectives: • Participants will be able to identify symptoms of problem gambling and be able to understand the impact this addiction may have on family members • Participants will be able to interview, assess, refer, and treat members of the gamblers family members who may be affected by the gambling problems • Participants will be able to provide a safe, therapeutic environment for growth and understanding of family members of problem gamblers as they work through the issues in themselves and their family Date & Time: Friday, March 4, 2016; 10am to 4pm Location: Northampton MDPH, 23 Service Center, Northampton, MA 01060 Cost: $60 – Save 10% if you’re a member! Clock Hours: 6

    Visit http://bit.ly/1VDhsFw to sign up today!

    For more information, please contact Director of Development and Communications, Krystle Kelly, at 617-426-4554, or Krystle@masscompulsivegambling.org Sponsored by: The Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and Bureau of Substance Abuse Services. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, or are a person with a disability who requires accommodation, please contact Director of Development and Communications, Krystle Kelly,at 617.426.4554, Fax: 617.426.4555, TTY: 617.426.1855 by February19, 2016 for accommodations. NBCC ACEP No. 6331
  • RECOGNIZING AND MANAGING COUNTERTRANSFERENCE IN PROBLEM GAMBLING CLINICAL WORK

    RECOGNIZING AND MANAGING COUNTERTRANSFERENCE IN PROBLEM GAMBLING CLINICAL WORK This online course is an intensive study of countertransference and how it impacts clinical judgment and treatment. Participants will engage in online discussions after reading relevant scholarly articles, explore familiar clinical concepts in the context of problem gambling, and engage in interactive clinical case study reviews with the focus on individuals struggling with gambling disorder. Earn 12 Clock Hours! Date: March 14, 2016 – April 9, 2016 Presenter: Geoffrey Locke, LICSW, PhD Cost: $80 in-state; $160 out-of-state Clock hours : 12   Online Course Prerequisites: • Master’s degree in a mental health/addiction-related field or clinical experience with people with gambling problems. • Consistent and reliable access to a computer connected to the Internet and with audio capabilities (speakers)–if the connection is from a work-related computer please check with MIS/IT team regarding connectivity to an interactive and secure site, including firewalls, spam blockers, etc. • Requires Real Player and Adobe Acrobat software that can be downloaded for free from the course website. For more information, please contact Director of Development and Communications, Krystle Kelly, at 617-426-4554, or Krystle@masscompulsivegambling.org   Sponsored by: The Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and Bureau of Substance Abuse Services. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, or are a person with a disability who requires accommodation, please contact Intervention and Recovery Support Coordinator, Jodie Nealley, at 617.426.4554, Fax: 617.426.4555, TTY: 617.426.1855 by March 22, 2016 for accommodations. NBCC ACEP No. 6331