Virginia Forms Advisory Committee to Address Gambling-Related Harm



Benard Maumo

Virginia has taken bold steps toward addressing problem gambling after approving the establishment of an advisory team, the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Advisory Committee. The new regulatory body will exclusively support players suffering from gambling-related harm in The Old Dominion and mobilize funds from the state government to tackle the problem.

Virginia Forms Advisory Committee to Address Gambling-Related Harm

Lawmakers in Virginia, United States introduced a motion to create a state committee to address problem gambling in January 2023. The lawmakers pegged their argument on a 2021 survey that revealed over 21% of high schoolers in the state had gambled in the previous year.

According to the Daily Progress, Sen. Reeves said the state’s problem gambling hotline has received a 143% increased calls over the last few years.

The new team will be formed after Senate Bill 836 was recently signed into law by Governor Glen Youngkin. Senator Bryce Reeves of the Republicans and Paul Krizek, a Democratic State Representative, introduced the bill, which will officially become legal on July 1, 2023.

When the new regulation becomes legal in July, the committee will oversee problem gambling in these sectors:

The Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services will coordinate the new program. This committee will address the rising popularity of gambling, especially the instances in which customers cannot manage their spending patterns.

In addition, the committee will comprise representatives from state agencies responsible for regulating gambling. It will also have a representative from the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling.

Besides the new committee and a problem gambling hotline, the state offers problem gambling services through the Virginia Lottery’s self-exclusion tool. This tool is available at all regulated online gambling sites, preventing individuals from placing wagers for a while after a personal request.

According to the legislators, research shows that people who start betting in their teens may suffer from problem gambling in the future. Senator Reeves said:

“I greatly appreciate Governor Youngkin’s support in this endeavor. As a father, it pains me to see how our youth have been affected by gambling and all the ills that come with it.”

He continued:

“I look forward to the committee’s establishment this July and the progress they will make in ensuring Virginians are given the knowledge, tools, and abilities to prevent and overcome gambling addiction.”

Best gambling quote: “Successful gamblers always have two things on their lips: Silence and a smile”

Favorite Casino Game: Blackjack

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