Compulsive Gambling

The 1999 National Gambling Impact Study Commission Final Report found that, of the 125 million adult Americans who gamble, 7.5 million were problem or pathological gamblers. A number of different terms have been applied to problem gambling, including “abuse” and “addiction.” Problem gambling is behavior that damages relationships, runs up large debts and may lead to criminal activity.

People with gambling problems are found in every demographic group. Behaviors that signal problem gambling include a preoccupation with gambling, a need to gamble with increasing amounts of money and trying to make up losses by additional gambling.

Credit Gambling

It is not legal in Montana to use a credit card to gamble or run up a tab at a bar to pay for gambling activity. Gambling in Montana can only be conducted on a cash basis. A check or debit card may be used to obtain cash to participate in a gambling activity, but you may only present the cash needed to play the game as the game is being played. A check, debit card, credit card, note, IOU, or other evidence of indebtedness may not be offered or accepted as part of the price of participation in the gambling activity or of a debt incurred in the gambling activity.

To Get Help

If you or someone you know needs help with a gambling problem, free confidential counseling is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through a national toll-free number, (888) 900-9979.

Help is also available in many Montana communities. To find a counselor in your community who specializes in problem gambling, call (406) 252-9076 or toll free (888) 552-9076.

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