The Mohegan Tribe is partnering with Yale University to fund a new initiative to combat problem gambling. Researchers from the Yale School of Medicine will begin developing an app to provide cognitive-behavioral therapy.
“Which is evidence-based treatment for substance use as well as other behavioral addictions, including gambling,” said Dr. Brian Kiluk, associate professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine.
The app would help expand access to treatment for people struggling with gambling problems.
“That’s the hope. I think one of the challenges in the field – not just gambling, but mental health in general – is that there just aren’t enough treatment providers available to meet the demand and needs of individuals,” said Kiluk.
The partnership comes months after online gambling and sports betting became legal in Connecticut. As part of this legislation, tribal casinos and the Connecticut Lottery had to strengthen their commitment to combating problem gambling.
“You can’t do an expansion of this magnitude without focusing on problem gambling,” said Paul Mounds, chief of staff for Governor Ned Lamont’s administration.
As per the law, the Mohegan Tribe will contribute more than $2 million to Yale Medical School to develop the app.
According to a press release from the Mohegan Tribe, the funding is in addition to the tribe’s annual contribution of nearly $300,000 to the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling.
“This joint effort with Yale is the first of its kind. We recognize that with gaming modernization comes an added responsibility to our community and we have easily doubled our support to promote responsible gaming,” said Ray Pineault, President and CEO of Mohegan, in a statement. hurry.
The Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling has seen a huge increase in the volume of calls to its helpline since legalizing online gambling last year.
“Growed 126%, so it’s really grown. Because it’s that ease of access – people run into problems very quickly,” said Diana Goode, chair of the CT Council on Problem Gambling. “With this app, I think more people will be likely to log on and try to get help.”
The app will take over a year to develop. The researchers will then conduct a clinical trial to ensure its effectiveness.