Increase highlights need for larger network of treatment professionals in Commonwealth
RICHMOND, VA, U.S.A., September 8, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Virginia Council on Problem Gambling reports that the Virginia Problem Gambling Helpline has seen a significant increase in the number of calls it has received in 2021 — around 77 percent in the past 12 months.
“The increase in the number of calls made to the Virginia Problem Gambling Helpline corresponds with the expansion of gambling availability within the Commonwealth,” explains Dr. Carolyn Hawley, President of the Council. “The jump in call volume signifies a need for funding to grow a network of treatment professionals who can be available to treat this rising need.”
When analyzed, the data showed that the types of gambling which represented the largest amount of intake calls in 2021 included, respectively: 21% of callers playing the lottery, video terminals in convenience stores and bars (18%) — which are known to many as “skill games” — slot machines at casino/track (18%) — including historical horse racing — and sports wagering (12%). In 2020, the data showed the lottery made up 25% of the calls, video terminals represented 22%, slot machines were 17% and 5% of calls included sports wagering.
Virginia’s Hampton Roads region represented the highest number of intakes, with 30% of callers contacting the problem gambling helpline seeking support, while Northern Virginia (25%) and Central Virginia (24%) aren’t far behind.
“We do acknowledge that there is more awareness and publication of the helpline phone number that could also be driving the increase in call volume, and more awareness of this problem gambling resource is definitely needed,” Dr. Hawley said.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, please call our confidential and toll-free helpline funded by the Virginia Lottery, at: 1 (888) 532-3500. Anyone who would like to reach the Council directly, please contact us via: mail, call, text/chat or email.
About the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling
The Virginia Council on Problem Gambling’s mission aims to increase public awareness of problem gambling, ensure the widespread availability of treatment for problem gamblers and families, and encourage research/programs for prevention/education. VCPG maintains a neutral stance on gambling.
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