In a recent announcement, the Problem Gamblers Help Network of West Virginia, a group that strives to tackle the issues of compulsive gambling and gambling addiction in the state, has said that they are offering grants of up to $5,000 each to community groups to curb the growing menace of problem gambling amongst the youth.
The Problem Gamblers Help Network of West Virginia also runs the state’s 800-GAMBLER helpline.
Problem gambling has been on the rise in the state; especially among the youth and teenagers. Also, several studies on problem gambling suggest that the younger population is more likely to pick compulsive gambling disorders than their older counterparts.
A 2018 study which collected data based on responses of over 500 West Virginia youth, reveals that nearly 50% gamble, including over 25% who gambled on sports. Over 25% agreed with the statement “Gambling is a good way to make money.”
Of those who participated, 60% spoke of trying to stay away from the screen, and 20 percent said they have had taken part in online gambling.
While the US states are already adopting gambling expansion measures, the issue of rising gambling addiction is concerning many. In West Virginia, there is minimal infrastructure and preventive mechanisms in place to check problem gambling.
As such, the new initiative by providing grants to community groups the organization is aiming at creating awareness about gambling harms and limiting gambling addiction amongst the youth in the state.