The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission, at the most recent Commission meeting, approved the first distribution of Responsible Gaming Grant awards totaling $1,571,965 in awards to projects directly addressing the issue of problem gambling, addiction treatment, educational programs, counseling, research, advocacy efforts, or support services.
Five project awards were granted to three organizations, the Kindbridge Research Institute, the Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health, and the Problem Gambling Coalition of Colorado, for various projects, including gambling counselor training and certificate programs, research on the current landscape of problem gaming in Colorado, a collegiate awareness program, a social marketing campaign and research on gambling addiction, and the creation of a problem gambling center in Colorado.
Signed into law by Governor Jared Polis on June 7, 2022, House Bill 22-1402 established the Responsible Gaming Grant Program to promote responsible gaming and address problem gaming in Colorado. The act enabled the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission to administer the annual grant program and award grants to eligible applicants from the Responsible Gaming Grant Program Cash Fund. The responsible gaming grant program is meant to provide meaningful funding and encourage prevention, education on gambling addiction, additional counselors, public awareness, treatment, recovery, data and research in Colorado.
“We would be ignoring the obvious if we did not accept that the largely positive experience of gaming in Colorado does not, amongst its participants, have some who are negatively impacted by their participation. The legislature has recognized, and our Commission prioritized, public education and treatment options, including training certified counselors to help individuals and families. Our actions this month are just the beginning of our efforts to recognize that there is such a thing as problem gaming and to address mitigating its negative impact,” said Commission Chair Richard Nathan.
Peggy Brown with the Problem Gambling Coalition of Colorado, a recipient organization of three funding awards, said: “The Problem Gambling Coalition of Colorado is excited to be a recipient of funding provided by the Responsible Gaming Grants awarded by the Division of Gaming and the Colorado Gaming Commission. We look forward to continued input and support from both the Division and Commission during grant implementation.”