Industry Reports

Cowlitz Indian Tribe Opens Gambling Treatment Center in Vancouver to Help Problem Gamblers

The Cowlitz Indian Tribe of Southwest Washington revealed that it is to open a gambling addiction treatment center located in Vancouver. The step of the tribe, which is to start offering problem gambling treatment comes only a year after it opened its US$510-million Ilani Casino in close proximity to La Center.

As reported by The Columbian, yesterday, the Indian tribal nation revealed that it would provide problem gambling services as part of its Cowlitz Tribal Treatment Program. The announcement came to prove the continued dedication which the Cowlitz Tribe had to health communities. As revealed by the tribe, the services which are to be aimed at helping gambling addicts deal with the negative consequences of their compulsive gambling behavior would be funded by redirecting some of the proceeds generated by its Ilani Casino which started operating in April 2017.

The Cowlitz Tribe wrote that despite the fact that most people could keep their gambling under control and place bets with almost no negative effects, not all individuals were able to do that, which was eventually the reason why some of them were affected by problem-gambling harm. According to the Indian tribal nation, compulsive gambling had a severe impact on various aspects of players’ lives, including not only their financial state but also their physical and emotional health and their relationship with their families, friends, colleagues, etc.

According to information released by the Cowlitz Tribe, there are currently three counselors at the Vancouver office, with them offering individual help and consultations for all problem gamblers in the region. The tribe also revealed that group counseling services could also be offered as more customers start using the counselors’ advice.

Experts Say Gambling Expansion Could Lead to Problem Gambling Increase

As mentioned above, the gambling addiction treatment services are to be offered by the Cowlitz Indian Tribe only a year after the tribe’s Ilani Casino opened in April 2017. The casino complex was worth US$510 million.

As far as problem gambling and its possible negative consequences are concerned, some regions in Canada have raised their concerns that gambling expansion causes an increase in both the gambling participation rates and problem gambling rates. In April 2018, the public health agency of the City of Ottawa warned that adding more gaming tables in the region would lead to an increase in problem gambling in the province and asked for financial help to roll out a prevention strategy.

Problem gambling behavior has been associated with various risk apart from the ones related to the players’ financial state. The Ottawa health agency has warned that gambling addictions also lead to mental health issues, often related to substance abuse, deteriorating physical health and worsening relationship with friends and family.

According to some experts, the addition of more gambling options in certain regions could lead to spreading gambling addictions to more local customers.