Rhode Island gambling revenue 11th nationally while problem gamblers have little hope.

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Rhode Island has an estimated 18,277(2.2%) of adults who report behaviors consistent with having a gambling problem. They have the following state authorized methods to feed their problem:

  • 5,851 electronic gaming machines
  • 2 racetrack casinos
  • Pari-mutual gambling
  • Charity gambling
  • A state lottery

Rhode Island is rewarded with $4.06 billion in reported gambling revenue (11th ranked nationally), which sadly means that only 10 states brought in more in 2012.  Worse is that they respond with a measly 10 cents per capita (31st nationally) in funding for problem gambling treatment. This amounts to leaving most of the help for problem gamblers to outside sources. In 2013 the legislature gave a $50,000 grant to the Rhode Island Hospital for treating problem gambling which nowhere near covers treatment. The state lottery provided an additional $51,600 to support a problem gambling helpline. As a result the Rhode Island Council on Problem Gambling (RICPG), the state affiliate of the NCPG, operated on a strictly volunteer basis in 2013 due to no money for a budget.  So poorly funded, treatment in Rhode Island is a negative cost situation. A desperate broke compulsive gambler has a better chance of survival by going to almost any other state than asking for help in their home state.

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