Newsroom > DHHS News Release

October 19, 2012
Marla Augustine, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047 or
A sound bite on this topic can be found at:
Problem Gambling: More to Lose than Money
People May Gamble on Baseball Playoffs
Lincoln—October is the month of baseball playoffs.  Gambling on the winners could be on some people’s minds.
“For most people, gambling is something they do for fun,” said Scot Adams, director of the Division of Behavioral Health in the Department of Health and Human Services. “For other people and their families, gambling becomes a serious problem, and many forms of gambling are illegal, such as sports betting.”
For some, things can quickly spin out of control, causing significant financial debt and personal and family turmoil.
“Someone with a gambling addiction could lose his or her home, job and family,” said Scot L. Adams. “These are just a few of the potentially life-changing consequences of problem gambling.  If you or someone you know has a problem with gambling, seek help.  Treatment is available, and it works.”
Treatment services may include crisis intervention, individual counseling, group therapy and family counseling.
The Division supports a statewide Problem Gambling Helpline, available 24/7, which can provide immediate support and referral information to local providers. The Helpline number is 1-800-GAMBLER or 1-800-426-2537.
In addition to the helpline, resources on problem gambling can be found by going to
Possible signs of problem gambling:
  • Becoming defensive if someone expresses concern about their gambling habits;
  • Borrowing money, selling belongings, or stealing so that they can continue to gamble;
  • Feeling anxious or depressed when they are unable to gamble;
  • Increased frequency of gambling activity;
  • Lying about the amount of time being spent on gambling, how much they are betting, and how much they have lost;
  • Placing larger bets over time whether winning or losing;
  • Betting more than they can reasonably afford to lose; and
  • Taking time away from work or family life to gamble; not telling others about time spent gambling.
The Division of Behavioral Health in the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services administers the Gamblers Assistance Program. GAP provides funding for the helpline, treatment services, prevention and outreach services, and counselor training. The program is paid for by funding from the state Lottery and the Health Care Cash Fund. These services are not funded by taxes.