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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

Upcoming Events

  • CLINICAL BEST PRACTICES IN GAMBLING DISORDER TREATMENT: INTEGRATING RESEARCH AND CLINICAL PRACTICE

    Clinical Best Practices in Gambling Disorder Treatment:  Integrating Research and Clinical Practice Date & Time:         Friday, September 24, 2015; 10am to 4pm Region:                  Southeast Location:               The Conference Center at Massasoit- 770 Crescent Street, Brockton, MA 02302 Presenter:              Loreen Rugle, Ph.D., NCGC-II Cost:                      $60 – Save 10% if you’re a member! CEUs:                     6 Description: When we hear the term “evidence based” practices, most of the time we assume that the evidence being discussed is research-based evidence, with the “gold standard” being randomized, controlled studies.  While this type of evidence is extremely important, we often neglect to consider evidence based on clinical experience and realities.  This workshop will explore how research-based evidence can best inform “real world” clinical practice and provide best practice standards, using case examples. Additionally, how other areas of research such as neurobiology of gambling disorder should inform best clinical practices will be discussed. Objectives:
    • Participants will be able to describe 3 evidence-based approaches (Motivational Interviewing, CBT, Imaginal Desensitization) to treatment of gambling disorder supported by research studies
    • Participants will be able to describe how each of these approaches can be applied to specific case examples
    • Participants will practice applying and modifying approaches to case examples.
    http://mccgintegratingresearch.eventbrite.com  
  • Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling Training Institute

    Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling Training Institute Presenter: Victor Ortiz, MSW, LADC I, CADC II CEUs- 32 Price: $275 Description: The Mass Council on Compulsive Gambling Training Institute’s goal is to increase the number of services providers in the treatment and service of Gambling Disorders; 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 services providers in order to build the capacity of knowledge in the area of Gambling Disorders. 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.

    http://mccgtraininginstitute.eventbrite.com

    If you are deaf or hard of hearing, or are a person with a disability who requires accommodation, please contact Intervention and Treatment Support Manager, Alicia Barron, at 617.426.4554, Fax: 617.426.4555, TTY: 617.426.1855 by September 25, 2015 for accommodations.
  • The Impact of Gambling and Problem Gambling on Recovery, Health, and Well-Being: Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)

    The Impact of Gambling and Problem Gambling on Recovery, Health, and Well-Being:  Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Presenter:         Loreen Ruggle, Ph.D., NCGC-II  Cost:                  $60 – Save 10% if you’re a member! CEUs:                 6 Description: Research evidence has been accumulating that unidentified problem gambling contributes to increased treatment costs and decreased treatment effectiveness across behavioral and general health care settings. While many evidence-based brief problem gambling screens have been developed, it has become clear that such screens do not work in actual clinical practice as they do in research studies.  This workshop will discuss the gap between research and practice and present strategies to implement effective screening, brief interventions, and referrals to treatment for problem gambling in a variety of clinical settings. Objectives:
        • Participants will be able to identify key elements to effective screening for gambling problems
        • Participants will be able to identify strategies to initiate discussion of impact of gambling in a variety of clinical settings
        • Participants will be able to describe and utilize brief intervention and referral strategies for those at risk for gambling problems

        http://mccgsbirt.eventbrite.com

        If you are deaf or hard of hearing, or are a person with a disability who requires accommodation, please contact Intervention and Treatment Support Manager, Alicia Barron, at 617.426.4554, Fax: 617.426.4555, TTY: 617.426.1855 by September 25, 2015 for accommodations.