Even as gambling — and gambling addiction — become normalized in the United States, no federal funds are currently set aside to address gambling treatment, prevention and research. This is in stark contrast to the considerable national funds dedicated to addressing alcohol and drug addiction.
However, with the expected introduction of the GRIT Act (Gambling addiction, Recovery, Investment and Treatment) by the National Council on Problem Gambling in the coming months, there is hope that gambling addiction will ultimately receive the attention and financial consideration it has long deserved.
The proposed legislation would set aside 50% of the federal sports excise tax revenue for gambling addiction treatment and research. Seventy-five percent of those funds would be distributed to states for gambling addiction prevention and treatment through the existing Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant program. The remainder would go to the National Institute of Drug Abuse to fund grants for research into gambling addiction.
“It’s important to note that this legislation would not increase any taxes to Americans,” says Cole Wogoman, government relations manager for NCPG. “It simply sets aside an existing funding stream for problem gambling treatment and research that will continue to increase as online sports wagering becomes more prominent.”
NCPG plans to have the bill introduced to Congress in advance of NCPG Advocacy Day on July 26. “The legislation will provide language we can use to familiarize legislators with problem gambling issues and emphasize why a dedicated funding source is so important,” says Cole. Please see this page for more information about the GRIT Act.