Mayor of Washington, D.C., Cuts Funding for Problem Gambling Services

Mayor of Washington, D.C., Cuts Funding for Problem Gambling Services

Washington DC

According to Sports Handle, Washington D.C. has purportedly taken a step back in problem gambling programs as Mayor Muriel Bowser aims to withdraw financing for the service. 

Brianne Doura-Schawohl, a lobbyist, feels the move will put Washington, D.C. behind in combating problem gambling, despite the fact that the Mayor’s office has not commented on the motivation behind the cut.

Doura-Schawohl emphasized that although the funding was insufficient in comparison to an appropriate level, it would have been preferable to receive nothing.

The city has not allocated any of the monies it was supposed to receive following the legalization of sports betting in late 2019, and the $200,000 in the budget that the mayor wishes to cut would have been the only financing for problem gambling in the city.

The city’s ordinance stipulates that the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) must fund addiction prevention, treatment, and research to establish safety nets for those who may acquire gambling problems.

Over two years have passed since the DBH’s deposit of $200,000 earmarked for problem gambling remained in its account. Doura-Schawohl asserted that the request for quotation (RFQ) was not appropriately marketed and was only available for two weeks, notwithstanding the DBH’s assertion that there were no acceptable bids.

D.C. Residents’ Calls to Gambling Helpline Increase by 109%

Brianne Doura-Schawohl, a lobbyist, added that Washington, D.C. residents made 4,892 calls, texts, and chats to the National Problem Gambling Helpline in 2022, a 109% increase from 2021. However, after the cut, the lobbyist thinks that she will no longer be able to campaign for problem gambling programs in the city due to a lack of finances.

This is not the first time the city has eliminated funds for preventive and treatment services. After sports betting was allowed in the city with the promise that $7 million would be designated for early childhood and violence prevention, the money was instead transferred to the general treasury. 

Rashad Young, the city administrator, argued that it was a better method to handle the policy since it permitted the flow of money to the general budget for financing decisions. Robert White, a D.C. council member, slammed the move, calling it a typical bait-and-switch scheme.

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About Lou De Aguila

Lou Aguila is a news and feature writer for Golden Casino News. For over a decade, Lou has published news and featured articles for some of the most reputable sports betting and online casino sites in the world, including BetNow.UK, VegasOdds, and BWin. Apart from being a hardcore live casino punter, he also covers sports stories in North American leagues from time to time.