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DC criticised after problem gambling funding stripped from 2024 budget

| By Richard Mulligan
Washington DC authorities have stripped problem gambling services funding from the proposed budget for 2024 despite an obligation to dedicate betting industry revenue towards addiction prevention.
Washington DC

The proposed 2024 Department of Behavioral Health budget shows that no money has been requested for preventing and combating gambling addiction. In the previous three years, $200,000 was approved for services although no money was ever actually spent.

Under the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018, the first $200,000 in revenue collected from the sports betting industry “shall be used to fund programs through the Department of Behavioral Health to prevent, treat, and research gambling addiction”. Anything more than $200,000 raised annually is to be divided equally between the early childhood development and neighbourhood safety and engagement funds.

Criticised by industry

American Gaming Association (AGA) senior vice-president Chris Cylke claimed the district has failed to meet its obligations in what is its latest “misstep” on gambling.

Cylke said in a statement: “Unfortunately, this is only the latest misstep by the DC government in their effort to offer a viable legal sports betting market. The AGA will work with other stakeholders to ensure the district makes good on their obligation to provide problem gambling resources, as well as continue to highlight the need for a competitive mobile marketplace that will increase revenue to fund these important commitments.”

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