US federal funds channelled into problem gambling

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US officials have introduced the Gambling addiction Recovery, Investment and Treatment Act, marking the first time US federal funding has been dedicated towards gambling addiction treatment or research.

Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Representative Andrea Salinas of Oregon introduced the GRIT Act which will, among other things, allocate 50% of the current federal sports excise tax revenue for gambling addiction treatment and research, and authorise spending for 10 years and mandate a report to Congress on the programme’s effectiveness within three years of passage.

“The GRIT Act reflects a pivotal step towards long-overdue support for those grappling with gambling addiction,” said Susan Sheridan Tucker, president of the NCPG board of directors. “We commend Senator Blumenthal and Representative Salinas for their dedication to addressing the burgeoning public health crisis of gambling addiction.

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“The National Council on Problem Gambling stands in full support of this legislation, recognising its potential to make a lasting difference in the lives of individuals and families across the nation.”

The GRIT Act leverages existing federal excise tax revenue rather than raising taxes or creating additional bureaucracy.

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