Problem Gambling Expert Testifies on Impacts of Federal Bill to Legalize Internet Poker

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NCPG highlights expert testimony that gambling addiction is likely to increase if internet gambling legalized.

Dr. Rachel Volberg, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, testifies at the US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade on the “State of Online Gaming”. The hearing will be held Tuesday, December 10, 2013 in Washington, D.C. Dr. Volberg, who has studied gambling for more than 25 years, states there will likely be an increase in gambling addiction as a result of the expansion of online gambling. She notes that when internet gambling is legalized the ease of access and increased availability are just two factors that have been shown to lead to more gambling problems. And while these problems may decrease over time, most of the harm cannot be undone. Dr. Volberg argues that governments in particular face conflicting incentives between maximizing gambling revenues and minimizing social costs, so legislators are urged to include the protection of public health as a specific objective of any gambling legislation and regulation.

Dr. Volberg and NCPG Executive Director Keith Whyte will be available for interviews after the hearing.

Contact NCPG at 703.980.2140 or keithw(at)ncpgambling(dot)org.

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Jocelyn Wilcox
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