Saturday, September 28, 2019

Post 121

                                     WHY DOES THIS MATTER?

I received an e-mail this month from Keith Whyte, Executive Director of the National Council on Problem Gambling.  Within the message to NCPG members, an alert was addressed for the passage and signing of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2020.  Specifically, Whyte highlighted a specification of the Act that would require the Department of Defense (DOD) to update its regulations, instructions, and guidance to explicitly include gambling disorder within 180 days of the passage of the Act. 

Importantly, Whyte noted that the DOD does not systematically screen for gambling disorder as outlined in the DOD adopted Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V). However, with updated regulations, etc., to include gambling disorder, prevention of gambling addiction can be addressed and carried out, thus protecting the health and welfare of our service-members.

Why does this matter, particularly within the military?

The email message continues: NCPG estimations are that as many as 56,000 active duty members of the Armed Forces meet the criteria for gambling disorder.  Then too, research reveals that veterans are 2-3 times more likely to develop a gambling problem.  Further, research by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reveals that military personnel and their families are exposed to more than 3,000 slot machines on military bases located Outside the Continental United States (OCONUS) where over $100 million dollars are gambled away every year.  Whyte adds, yet due to the stigmas associated with the disorder, less than 10% of those with gambling problems seek help.

Why does the NDAA (2020) matter?  What will the NDAA provision do? 

  • Requires the Department of Defense to develop policies and programs to prevent and treat        gambling problems     
  • Compliance within 180 days of passing
Contact you legislator to include a provision within the NDAA for the DOD to update its behavior health regulations, instructions, and guidance in the final conference report! 

NOTE:  to read Whyte’s full letter, go to 


Rev. Janet Jacobs, CCGSO

Founding Director

Gambling Recovery Ministries


 For more information on problem gambling, recovery issues, and the IGCCB Clergy/Lay Minister Certification visit: