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Statement from VACPG President Carolyn Hawley, Ph.D. on Virginia Casino Referendum Election Night Results

Dr. Carolyn Hawley

Dr. Carolyn Hawley

Virginians Approve Casino Referendums in Bristol, Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES, November 4, 2020 / -- “The passing of public referendums permitting casinos in the cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth, Danville and Bristol will present a need for increased problem gambling support efforts in the Commonwealth.

Gambling can be fun. However, it can be harmful to some people. We want to prevent such harm from occurring in the first place and help those individuals who may experience problems.

Virginia has reached the critical tipping point in which problem gambling education, prevention and treatment programs are a priority.

The addition of these four casinos will require much more work by the Council and our staff at the Virginia Problem Gambling Helpline (888-532-3500).

More gamblers are seeking us out with greater needs. We must be able to provide treatment, but we currently don’t have the resources.

The state is doing the right thing, thanks to the General Assembly’s creation of the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund, which will be administered by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. The Council looks forward to working with this agency, the Virginia Lottery and all current and future gambling operators to protect Virginians.

We can’t just have the economic benefits attached to the casinos; we also have to mitigate the harm.”

Jill Vaughan
JLV Communications
+1 804-363-7175