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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

  • The Gambling Brain: How it Works and How to Treat It

    The Gambling Brain: How it Works and How to Treat It Date: April 25, 2016 - May 27, 2016 Location: Online through Middlesex Community College Presenter: Jon Grant, JD, MD, MPH Cost: $100 in-state; $200 out-of-state Clock Hours: 18 This advanced-level online course will explain the role of biochemistry in the development of a gambling problem and in its treatment. It will discuss the cross priming effect of other addictions on gambling disorders. The course will also review how gambling problems are addressed with medications and/or psychotherapeutic treatment. 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 Director of Development and Communications, Krystle Kelly,at 617.426.4554, Fax: 617.426.4555, TTY: 617.426.1855 by March 22, 2016 for accommodations. NBCC ACEP No. 6331
  • Problem Gambling in the Asian Community

    Problem Gambling in the Asian Community Date & Time: Friday, May 6, 2016; 10am to 4pm Region: Boston/Metrowest/Central Location: The Nonprofit Center - 89 South Street, Boston, MA 02111 (TBC) Presenter: Tim Fong Cost: $60 – Save 10% if you’re a member! Clock Hours: 6 The Asian American community is comprised of diverse cultural groups with roots spanning many countries. Despite this diversity, there are some commonalities in this community including cultural values and attitudes towards gambling. Research has also shown that Asian Americans may be impacted by gambling disproportionally and may be at higher risk for gambling disorders. This workshop will explore the diverse cultural attitudes towards gambling, prevalence of gambling and preference for type of gambling, and specific risk factors. It will discuss prevention programs, intervention opportunities, effective treatment modalities, and cultural factors in working with a client with gambling disorder. Additionally it will explore how assimilation and acculturation affect gambling behavior and cultural attitudes as well as family dynamics. Objectives: • Participants will be able to discuss cultural attitudes and risk factors regarding gambling in the Asian American community • Participants will be able to identify culturally competent prevention, intervention, and treatment programs for Asian American’s struggling with gambling disorder • Participants will be able to discuss the impact of assimilation and acculturation on gambling behavior and attitudes towards treatment 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 April 22, 2016 for accommodations.   NBCC ACEP No. 6331
  • Webinar: Youth Gambling: Myths, Realities and New Understandings

    Youth Gambling: Myths, Realities and New Understandings Date & Time: May 18, 2016; 12pm to 1:30pm Location: Online Presenter: Jeffrey Derevensky, Ph.D. Cost: $15 Clock Hours: 1.5 This workshop will discuss youth gambling behavior, risk factors, and prevention opportunities. It will examine myths associated with youth gambling and will look at new trends in youth gambling including social casino simulated gaming and fantasy sports wagering. Dr. Derevensky will also address how these new realities are shaping our understanding of youth gambling behavior and their implications for prevention, intervention, and treatment. Click here to register. 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 May 1, 2016 for accommodations. NBCC ACEP No. 6331