Connecticut: Mohegan Tribe to contribute $2 million to Yale to combat problem gambling

Connecticut: Mohegan Tribe to contribute $2 million to Yale to combat problem gambling

  • Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports
May 24, 2022 10:14 PM
  • Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports
  • Other

The Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut Tuesday announced it will contribute $2 million to fund work by Yale University to combat problem gambling. The funding is pursuant to state legislation providing for contributions to support problem gambling.

“The Mohegan Tribe has a long history as a leader in combating problem gambling, and a long history partnering with Yale University to improve public health in Connecticut and beyond,” said Mohegan Tribe Chairman James Gessner Jr. in a statement. “This new partnership with Yale is the next frontier in promoting responsible gambling, and Yale [can] lead the way in supporting problem gambling programs in Connecticut and nationally.”

Through the Department of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, the Mohegan Tribe’s funding will create a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) digital intervention aimed at expanding treatment options for individuals suffering from problem gambling. This work will include developing digital therapeutic tools, such as a CBT-based mobile app, to ensure greater access to care for traditionally underserved populations.

Products developed through the initiative will be made available to the public, ensuring greater access for individuals facing barriers to such treatment.

Yale School of Medicine associate professor of psychiatry Brian Kiluk said in a statement that the university has been a leader in creating an effective computer-based therapy programs to treat substance use disorders. The university is eager use that experience to develop treatments for individuals suffering from problem gambling.

“Using digital platforms such as mobile phones to provide treatment offers the potential to get help to more people,” Kiluk said. “The hope is to identify effective new ways to expand access to treatment as easily and seamlessly as possible and provide a means to help improve the lives of people with gambling problems, their loved ones, and their communities.”

The funding is in addition to the Mohegan Tribe’s annual contribution of nearly $300,000 to the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling, part of more than $10 million the tribe has contributed toward problem gambling investments since first opening its casino.

“As Connecticut took steps to modernize its gaming industry, I said repeatedly that we must also do more to combat problem gambling – and that’s precisely what this new initiative from the Mohegan Tribe and Yale will do,” said Gov. Ned Lamont in a statement. “Our state and local economies are stronger because of the steps we took last year on sports and online betting. Now, this new initiative from the Mohegan Tribe and Yale will help broaden the tools and resources available for anyone impacted by problem gambling.”

“This partnership exemplifies the unified commitment needed to modernize responsible gaming and problem gambling resources for today’s expanding industry,” said American Gaming Association President and CEO Bill Miller in a statement. “Building a sustainable marketplace is dependent on innovative leadership and productive collaboration among our industry, advocates, researchers, and anyone with a vested interest in gaming. The Mohegan Tribe’s investment today is an important step toward protecting all customers.”

Rege Behe is lead contributor to CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at rbehe@cdcgaming.com. Please follow @RegeBehe_exPTR on Twitter.