News Update from the
Region 5 Problem Gambling Awareness Team
November 2022
Gambling is defined as risking something of value on the outcome of an event when the probability of winning is less than certain.

Problem Gambling or Gambling Disorder is characterized by behavior that leads to adverse consequences for the individual, families,
and society.
Gambling and the Military
On Veteran's Day, we acknowledge the sacrifices made by all those who serve in the military and their families. In this edition of our newsletter, we'd like to focus on the military and gambling.
Historically, gambling has been a popular pastime for service members. The stress of rigorous work and long hours coupled with lots of free time, creates opportunities to gamble. There are over 3,000 slot machines on overseas military bases that are used to generate revenue. Those dollars are earmarked for the purpose of entertaining and boosting morale.

Problem Gambling Risk Factors with the Military Population:
  • The armed sevices have higher proportions of young males who are prone to risk taking and sensation seeking.
  • Stress, depression, anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
  • Use and misuse of substances.
  • Post deployment issues.
  • Downtime and boredom, especially when deployed and/or at bases that are geographically isolated.

Gambling Prevalence Among Men and Women Veterans:
At-Risk Gambling: 5.6% of women vs. 9.6% of men
Problem Gambling: 0.7% of women vs. 2.7% of men 
Problem Gambling Among U.S Veterans:
  • A national survey of Veterans found that 2.2% screened positive for at-risk or pathological gambling. (Stefanovics, Potenza, & Pietrzak, 2017)
  • 4.2% of Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans exhibit at-risk/probable pathological gambling. (Whiting et al., 2016)
  • 10.7% of mental health treatment-seeking Veterans reported a lifetime history of gambling disorder. (Westermeyer et al., 2013)
Suicide Risk:
  • 40% of Veterans seeking treatment for gambling have reported suicide attempts.
  • Veterans have a suicide rate 40% higher than those who did not serve in the military.
  • Suicide rate of female Veterans: 11.2 out of 100,000 Veterans. Suicide rate of male Veterans: 33.4 out of 100,000 Veterans. 
Resources for Help:
  • Veteran's Hospitals are located in West Haven, Rocky Hill, and Newington CT.
  • In Region 5, the VA has clinics in Danbury and Waterbury.
  • The Danbury Vet Center, is a small, non-medical, counseling center.
  • Recovery meetings currently take place on Wednesday nights at the New Haven Vet Center.
Visit the VA website to learn more about these services in CT.
More Resource Links:
Resource Library: Veterans and Armed Forces from the NY Council on Problem Gambling.
Make the Connection- learn from Veteran's personal experiences.
Coaching into Care is a free service for families and friends of Veteran's. Access resources and referrals for mental health care.

We would like to thank Richard Bragg, a veteran, a member of the Region 5 Gambling Awareness Team and Recovery Support Specialist with the Bettor Choice Program in Waterbury for contributing content for this article.
Other sources include NC and Kansas Health and Human Services and 1-800 Gambler.

Vets Rock 2022
Friday November 11

Vets Rock is focused on enhancing the lives of our service members through a job fair, Veteran service organizations and other resources. 

click here to learn more and to register.
Expansion of Gambling in CT
Crisis in Connecticut: The Other Side of Sports Betting
Quinnipiac University, October 2022
In this article, Steven D. Martocci highlights the effects of legalized sports betting in CT. Key points:
  • Addiction, over-indulgence and poor budgeting has taken it's toll on many participants in the last nine months.
  • The virtual sportsbooks like DraftKings and FanDuel are catered toward males age 18-35 and have developed marketing strategies to target this demographic. They use social media to engage with followers with picks and opinions on different sports.
  • A research study showed that the success rate of those who bet on sports is nearly identical to random chance, disproving the thought that sports betting is a more skill-based form of gambling.
  • Diana Goode, Director of The CT Council on Problem Gambling reported they have increased helpline staff to handle the volume of callers. They are also receving more calls from young adults and parents of young adults who are concerned about problem gambling.

Read the full article here.
Prevention - Mitigating Risks

Youth Gambling Awareness Projects
3 youth groups in Region 5 were awarded a grant to work on a media project this year focused on gambling awareness and available resources:

Naugatuck Youth Services
New Milford Youth Agency
Wolcott CASA


Upcoming Educational Opportunity focused on Video Gaming:
Help Is Available
MCCA is the Bettor Choice Provider in Region 5 offering outpatient and short-term inpatient treatment to those struggling with gambling and their families. Visit their webpage here.

Gamblers Anonymous is fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from a gambling problem. Visit to locate a meeting near you.

Gam-Anon ( is a self-help organization for the spouse, family or close friends of those with a gambling disorder. 
About Our Team
The Region 5 Problem Gambling Awareness Team consists of community stakeholders working toward raising awareness around disordered gambling and helping connect those in need to treatment.  

Our partners include DMHAS Problem Gambling Services, The CT Council on Problem Gambling (CCPG) and treatment providers MCCA, McCall Center for Behavioral Health, and Apex Community Care.

Please visit the team webpage where you can find out more and download resources to share!

Western CT Coalition is the Regional Behavioral Health Action Organization servicing the 43 towns of DMHAS Region 5.

Vist our website
Follow us on Facebook @wctcoalition