6 months after it legalized sports betting

Vermont launches responsible gaming website with self-exclusion options

Reading time 1:12 min

The Vermont Department of Mental Health has launched VTGamblingHelp, a responsible gaming website for sports bettors. The launch comes roughly six months after sports wagering launched in Vermont in January. The Dept. estimates that 11,600 people are struggling with gambling addiction, whether they know it or not.

"We needed more, we obviously had lottery and scratch-offs which there are people that become addicted to those as well," Dr. Kelley Klein, the Medical Director at the Dept. of Mental Health, told NBC5. "But we knew that when online sports betting went live we would have a rise in individuals that were at least at risk for problem gambling or gambling addiction."

The website helps its visitors with a 24/7 live chat box and information that can help them understand what gambling addiction looks like, as the ability to place bets is still relatively new to the state.

"Online sports betting is on our phones, so if somebody is very linked to that and feels comfortable just chatting with someone, this provides that outlet to them; they can get support. They can even just say 'I don’t know if I have a problem but I'm starting to notice some things, can you walk me through it,'" added Klein.

The site also has links for medical providers and everyday people to sign up for free training sessions to learn more about gambling addiction and its signs.

"Vermonters will be able to take this training that’s going to be offered in the fall and spring and they will be certified as Vermont problem gambling counselors," said Kelley.

In addition, the website has links for players to register to be put on an exclusion list where they can select a one-, three-, five-year, or a lifetime ban from sports betting if they feel it’s necessary.

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