View this email in your browser

The 2023 legislative session has been underway since the second Wednesday in January at the State Capitol here in Richmond, Virginia. Lawmakers will adjourn on February 25th. The Virginia Council on Problem Gambling has been following several bills along the legislative process this session. 

House Bill 1465 and Senate Bill 836 passed unanimously. They direct the Commissioner of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to establish, maintain and participate in the treatment of Problem Gamblers and to support the Advisory Committee. This will ultimately enable collaboration among prevention and treatment providers and operators of legal gaming in the Commonwealth to reduce the adverse effects of problem gambling. Please take a moment to review the bill here

Also passed unanimously, Virginia Senate Bill 824 adds two new members to the Virginia Addiction Recovery Council to specifically represent the problem gambling recovery community. You can learn more here

As you can see, things are changing for the better here in the Commonwealth, and we are proud to have dedicated members traveling this pathway to recovery alongside us. We cannot do this alone! 

In Wellness,
Dr. Carolyn Hawley




Calls to the VCPG Helpline continue to increase year over year

8,780 calls were made to the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling in 2022. That’s a 56.7% growth in call volume from 2021. Of those, 860 were Virginia residents actively seeking help with problem gambling. This is an increase of 20% from 2021. Other calls included help seekers from other states, those trying to reach the Virginia Lottery, a casino, or mobile betting apps.

(5,602 calls in 2021, 718 intakes in 2021)



The goals of this national campaign are:

  • To increase public awareness of problem gambling and the availability of prevention, treatment & recovery services.
  • To encourage healthcare providers to screen clients for problem gambling.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize March 2022 as PROBLEM GAMBLING AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.


Legal & illegal electronic gaming activities; restrictions, joint committee to study, civil penalty

This bill provides for the operation and regulation of electronic gaming activities under the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, extending the prior regulatory scheme to July 1, 2024. The bill also directs the Authority to adopt emergency regulations to implement the provisions of the bill and provides for the establishment of a joint committee composed of 10 members from the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology and the House Committee on General Laws to study the regulation of all electronic gaming in the Commonwealth.

Virginia House Bill 2295, Delegate Terry Kilgore, R-District 1
Read more here: VA HB2295

Problem Gambling Awareness Month

Problem Gambling Awareness Month; designating as March 2023 and each succeeding year thereafter.

Virginia Senate Joint Resolution 232,  Senator Bryce Reeves, R-District 17
Read more here: VA SJR232

Virginia House Joint Resolution 518, Delegate Paul Krizek, D-District 44
Read more here: VA HJR518

Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Advisory Committee; established

Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services; Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Advisory Committee established. Directs the Commissioner of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to establish and maintain the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Advisory Committee to enable collaboration among prevention and treatment providers and operators of legal gaming in the Commonwealth on efforts to reduce the negative effects of problem gambling.

Virginia Senate Bill 836,  Senator Bryce Reeves, R-District 17
Read more here: VA SB836

Virginia House Bill 1465,  Delegate Paul Krizek, D-District 44
Read more here: VA HB1465

Substance Abuse Services Council; name change, membership

Substance Abuse Services Council; name change; membership. Renames the Substance Abuse Services Council as the Virginia Addiction Recovery Council and increases from 29 to 32 the membership of the Council by adding two members representing the problem gambling recovery community and one member representing the board of directors of the Abatement Authority.

Virginia Senate Bill 824, Senator John Bell, D-District 13
Read more here: VA SB824

Video gaming terminals (VGTs); regulation, penalties.

Regulating video gaming terminals; penalties. Authorizes and specifies the licensing requirements for the manufacture, distribution, operation, servicing, hosting, and playing of video gaming terminals (VGTs). The bill provides that VGTs are regulated by the Virginia Lottery Board, which the bill renames as the Virginia Lottery and Gaming Oversight Board. The bill requires employees of such licensees to be registered with the Virginia Lottery, which the bill renames as the Virginia Lottery and Gaming Department. The bill imposes criminal and civil penalties for violations of the law and regulations related to VGTs. The bill imposes a 34 percent tax on all gross profits from the play of VGTs and provides for how the tax proceeds are used; most are deposited into the School Construction Fund, created by the bill.

Virginia Senate Bill 462, Senator John Bell, D-District 13
Read more here: VA SB462 / Carry Over of previous SB462

Virginia Senate Bill 1250, Senator John Bell, D-District 13
Read more here: VA SB1250 



Highlands Community Services in Abingdon adds problem gambling specialist to staff

ABINGDON, Va. — Recently, Highlands Community Services in Abingdon added a problem gambling specialist to its staff. The specialist will focus on raising community awareness and problem gambling education. 

Read more @WCYB

Read more @WAVY

Resources for Problem Gambling

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – If you think you are suffering from a gambling addiction, there are resources available to help. 
According to the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services, there is gambling activity for fun, but there is also problem gambling.

They say, “problem gambling-or gambling disorder-includes all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family, or vocational pursuits.” They add, continued gambling behavior in this matter can lead to impairment or distress.


Reflecting on the gambling addiction of a sports fanatic

Scott talks about his gambling addiction and how he realized his gambling had become a problem.  He shares how his love of sports transformed into a love of gambling and how he manages the sports betting season as a person in recovery. 


Unveiled: Problem Gambling Screening and Assessment E-Books!


@ 1:00 PM ET

Since 2020, the NCPG Treatment Committee has been working on a project to support clinicians who may encounter individuals and families struggling with gambling-related problems. The Committee worked diligently to review research and collect expert input to develop two manuals for use by the mental health and addiction fields: the Gambling Assessment Manual and the Problem Gambling Screening Standards Manual. Join experts and members of the NCPG Treatment Committee as they unveil these new tools! During this session, panelists will review the purpose, content, and use cases for these manuals.

NCPG Member Exclusive: Ask An Expert with Hon. Cheryl Moss - Gambling Treatment Diversion Courts


@ 1:00 PM ET

Drug courts and other therapeutic/diversion courts, including programs for individuals with gambling problems, have been overwhelmingly successful in reducing criminal justice costs and recidivism, saving taxpayer dollars, improving rehabilitation rates for non-violent offenders, increasing restitution paid to victims, and improving community health and wellness.

In November 2018, Judge Cheryl Moss became the first judge to preside over Nevada’s first Gambling Treatment Diversion Court. During this interactive webinar, Judge Moss will answer questions about how a gambling treatment court runs, how eligibility for the defendants is established, the treatment-centric focus, the cost savings to taxpayers, and the improvements to rehabilitation rates.

This session will be a Q&A format followed by structured networking time for all attendees.

The Urgent Need for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in Behavioral Healthcare


@ 1:00 PM ET

Disparities in both access to health services and treatment outcomes have become increasingly evident for individuals from historically underrepresented communities. Social injustice and prejudice impact the health and well-being of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ individuals, and difficulty trusting the behavioral healthcare system discourages many people away from seeking help.

Recognizing these realities, the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) launched an action plan to promote change in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) practices in addiction treatment centers. Many behavioral health providers want to promote health equity, establish a more diverse staff and client base, and create more inclusive work and clinical environments. Still, they may need help figuring out where to begin or how to improve continuously. As treatment providers apply the Stages of Change in their work with patients, this model can help leaders chart a path to DEIB best practices.

This presentation will introduce NAATP’s Stages of Change Model for DEIB Best Practices, which can help providers – both those just starting this work and those who are well on their way – to identify areas for growth and specific action steps. Participants will learn how to use the Assessment Tool within their organizations to develop an action plan. Presenters will share examples of working with treatment providers at various stages of readiness for DEIB work.

Raschkowan Webinar: future directions in gambling disorder research  


@ 12:00 PM ET

The concept of ‘gaming addiction’ has generated significant debate for many years. Among other concerns, opposing views have often cited the lack of consistency and standardization in the evidence base. With the recent inclusion of ‘6C51 Gaming disorder’ and ‘QE22 Hazardous Gaming’ in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), the field has formal classifications that appear likely to propel the study of problem gaming forward. This talk will consider some of the important challenges and future directions of the gaming disorder field. Which areas of research are most needed to strengthen the evidence base for the condition as we look ahead to the DSM-6? What technological trends and emerging gaming developments might affect the study of gaming disorder? What does the field need now?

This webinar is generously sponsored and presented free of charge by the Norman Raschkowan Foundation and presented in partnership with McGill University’s International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors.


State lawmakers say Virginia needs a unified approach to gambling regulation (WVTF)
Sen. Joe Morrissey’s Petersburg casino bill fails (WRIC)
Virginia bill to legalize, tax ‘skill game’ machines dead (WTOP)
National Council on Problem Gambling claims bulk of US iGaming regulations fall drastically short of minimum standards (Basketball Insiders)


Remember to forward this to a friend so they can also receive our newsletter! 

Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem,

please call our confidential and toll-free helpline at 1.888.532.3500.

Copyright © 2023 Virginia Council on Problem Gambling, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.