News Update from the
Region 5 Problem Gambling Awareness Team
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.
Expansion of Gambling in CT
All-Time Sports Betting Handle in Connecticut Surpasses $1 Billion
Just under $100 Million was legally wagered in the state in June alone
The state of Connecticut has officially surpassed $1 billion in all-time sports betting handle. The June revenue report shared by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection shows that, less than nine months after legalized sports betting launched in Connecticut in October 2021, that 10-figure benchmark has been cleared. (Handle is defined as the amount of money wagered by bettors.)
The Constitution State came close to reaching $1 billion in all-time handle in May, but fell about $18 million short. With a June handle of $95.4 million, legal sports betting platforms in Connecticut easily cleared that hurdle. 
Click here to continue reading.

The Connecticut State Department of Consumer Protection publishes Gaming Revenue and Statistics on its website. Click here to learn more.

With this increase in gambling volume,
it is important for folks to know help is available.

Visit Responsible Play the CT Way for tips on setting time and money limits, understanding risk, and balancing gambling with other activities.
Prevention - Mitigating Risks
Financial Literacy May Protect Against Gambling Related Harm
The Region 5 Problem Gambling Awareness Team has identified a lack of financial literacy as a risk factor for problem gambling. According to a Research Snapshot from GREO (Gambling Research Exchange), financial literacy is defined as "a person's ability to understand economic information and use it to make decisions about their finances". Someone who is financially literate knows how to accumulate wealth, handle debt, and save for retirement. People can become financially literate from their life experiences, or from receiving financial education in school. They cite a 2010 study done in Japan which found that "people who are more financially literate may be less likely to take financial risks by gambling frequently" and that "promoting financial literacy may reduce the risk of problem gambling".
Resources to Help Promote Financial Literacy
The U.S Department of Treasury houses a Financial Literacy and Education Commission. The Commission’s vision is of sustained financial well-being for all individuals and families in the U.S. In furtherance of this vision, the Commission sets strategic direction for policy, education, practice, research, and coordination so that all Americans make informed financial decisions. provides tools for financial planning and budgeting.

From a CNBC Op-ed, June 22,2022, entitled "Financial Literacy Should be a Family Affair to help Empower Future Generations", Jamie Bosse, a Certified Financial Planner, provides a basic guide of financial concepts that parents can discuss with kids at various age ranges. Here are a few excerpts:
Ages 3-5
  • You need money to buy things
  • Money is earned by working
  • You might have to wait to buy something you want
Ages 14-18
  • You should avoid using credit cards if you can't pay the balance off each month
  • You must pay taxes on your income
  • The importance of having an emergency fund
  • Basic Investing concepts
The Council for Economic Education created a Family-At-Home Financial Fun Pack that includes activities, games, worksheets and suggested books for children of all ages.
Help Is Available
Bettor Choice Treatment Providers
Bettor Choice Programs are gambling-specific treatment programs funded by the State of Connecticut. Services are offered at more than 16 locations in Connecticut through community agencies. Most programs offer a variety of outpatient services including: individual, group, peer recovery support, medication, and budget counseling for both individuals impacted by problem gambling and affected loved ones. Services are provided at little to no cost.
For a listing of all Bettor Choice Providers in CT click here.
The Bettor Choice Provider in Region 5 is MCCA, Midwestern Connecticut Council of Alcoholism.

Outpatient Treatment for Problem Gambling Includes:
  • individual, group, budget counseling for both gamblers and family members
  • psychiatric evaluation for both gamblers and family members
  • couples and family counseling
If you are unsure as to whether gambling has become a problem for you, MCCA can help you assess the impact of gambling on your life, finances and relationships and decide what role, if any, gambling can play in your life.

MCCA also provides short-term inpatient treatment for clients with a gambling problem at their McDonough House facility.  Click here to learn more.

Earl Sanford is the Program Manager for Problem Gambling Services at MCCA. He oversees all aspects of Program Gambling treatment in the Waterbury, Danbury, Torrington, and New Milford clinics.

DMHAS Disordered Gambling Integration Initiative (DiGIn)​
In Region 5, Apex Community Care and Help, Inc are working toward increasing the capacity of substance use disorder and mental health treatment/recovery programs to address gambling and problem gambling through enhanced screening, assessment, awareness, intervention, recovery and health promotion strategies.

We will highlight their work in region 5
in future editions of this newsletter.
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, Help, Inc., 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.

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