Montana, Massachusetts senators introduce Gambling Addiction Prevention Act

WASHINGTON - Gambling addictions are a serious problem among veterans and active duty service members, affecting them at twice the rate of the general public according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Last week, Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont. and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. introduced the Gambling Addiction Prevention Act; a bill to prevent and treat those service members. The bill is now headed to committee hearings.

Veterans Affairs says Montana has one of the highest per capital veteran populations in the country, and more than 6,500 may have substance abuse problems.

Officials say up to one third of veterans who are treated for substance abuse also have a significant gambling problem.

The bill will integrate gambling disorders into existing mental health and substance-use programs, and require new gambling policies and prevention education.

This bill is similar to one submitted by Warren in 2017 that dealt with gambling-related medical screening question.