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Vermont Launches New Problem Gambling Website


SPORTSCASTING (July 3, 2024) – Vermont mental health officials are launching VTGamblingHelp.org, a new website for individuals and families affected by problem gambling.


Online sports betting first launched in the Green Mountain State on Jan 11, 2024. Industry experts are projecting state operators to generate in upwards of $7 million in new revenue this year.


HB 127 allows the Department of Liquor and Lottery (DLL) to issue between two to six licenses. Only three online sportsbooks are available in the state: Fanatics, FanDuel, and DraftKings.


However, over 11,600 Vermont residents (2% of the adult population) are estimated to be struggling with a gambling disorder, according to the Vermont Department of Mental Health (VDMH).


Officials say the new VTGamblingHelp.org will provide services to those who play the Vermont Lottery and bet on sports by offering a 24/7 helpline and live chat, a voluntary self-exclusion program, and other treatment options.


The website lists common signs of a gambling problem. Symptoms of compulsive gambling include needing to gamble with more money to achieve the same desired excitement, feeling restless or irritable when trying to cut down or stop gambling, and gambling when feeling stressed, sad, or anxious.


Additionally, other signs include chasing losses or returns to get even, lying to conceal the extent of gambling, relying on others for money to continue playing or to try to fix situations caused by gambling, and gambling at risk of jeopardizing a relationship, job, or one’s finances.


VTGamblingHelp.org offers numerous resources to help problem gamblers treat the disorder. In fact, VDMH officials say Vermont treatment providers can use the website to access free training. The Vermont Provider Training Program is a project accredited by the International Gambling Counselor Certification Board (IGCCB) and facilitated by the Institute for Consumer Health.


Self-exclusion allows Vermonters to take a break from sports betting. Individuals can enroll remotely through the DLL. The gambler will self-select how long his or her break will be. During the break, the person will be removed from licensed online sportsbooks and marketing lists.


VTGamblingHelp specialists can provide referrals near the gambler, including telehealth options.


Furthermore, the website urges gamblers to join community outreach programs. For example, the New England Intergroup of Gamblers Anonymous.


Other support programs include Gamblers Anonymous, Bettors Anonymous, and Recovery Road. All three host virtual meetings.


Gamblers Anonymous offers support groups for family, friends, and loved ones. Online communities include GamTalk, Gam-Anon Facebook Group, Gambling Addiction and Recovery Facebook Group, and In The Rooms.


Vermonters who are suffering from problem gambling are also encouraged to call the help line: 1-800-GAMBLER.



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