Office of Problem Gambling

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Office of Problem Gambling

For most people, gambling is recreational. However, for some people, gambling leads to debilitating problems that impact more than just themselves. Problem gambling means participation in any form of gambling activity to the extent that it creates a negative consequence to the gambler, the gambler's family, place of employment, or the community—including gambling behaviors that compromise, disrupt, or damage personal, family, educational, financial, or vocational interests. Pathological gambling is a progressive mental disorder meeting the diagnostic criteria set forth by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition.

Problem and pathological gamblers can experience psychological difficulties such as anxiety, depression, guilt, attempted suicide, or abuse of alcohol and drugs, as well as stress-related physical illnesses such as hypertension and heart disease. Interpersonal problems include lying and stealing, resulting in a breakdown of relationships and divorce. Work and school problems include poor performance, abuse of leave time, and loss of employment. Financial consequences are substantial, including credit card debt, unpaid creditors, and impoverishment. Finally, pathological gamblers may resort to criminal behavior to finance gambling or pay gambling debts. Family members of problem gamblers also experience substantial financial, physical and psychological difficulties as a direct result of the problem gambling behavior.

The Office of Problem and Pathological Gambling (OPG) was established under Section 4369 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, under the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP). OPG is charged with developing and providing quality statewide prevention and treatment programs and services to address problem and pathological gambling issues, to the people of California.

Effective with the passage of the 2013-2014 Budget Act and associated legislation, ADP was eliminated as of July 1, 2013. The Governor’s Budget approved the transfer of OPG to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). OPG is operating within CDPH’s Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Please explore this website for additional information and resources about problem gambling for yourself or for someone you care about.

OPG Advisory Group

The purpose of the Advisory Group is to discuss priorities and strategies for educating and training individuals engaged in problem gambling-related issues. The Advisory Group is a valuable forum for collaboration among state regulating agencies, gambling industry representatives, educators, researchers, and advocates for problem gambling issues. OPG Advisory Group Members

 

Office of Problem Gambling History

The Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP) was authorized to establish the Office of Problem and Pathological Gambling, known as the Office of Problem Gambling (OPG), by Assembly Bill (AB) 673, Chapter 210, Statutes of 2003 (Section 4369 of the Welfare and Institutions Code). Effective with the passage of the 2013-2014 Budget Act and associated legislation, ADP was eliminated as of July 1, 2013. The Governor’s Budget approved the transfer of OPG to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) within the Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

The first priority mandated by the Legislature is to develop a problem gambling prevention program consisting of the following activities and services:

  • A toll-free telephone service for immediate crises management and containment with subsequent referral of problem and pathological gamblers to health providers who can provide treatment for gambling related problems and to self-help groups.
  • Public awareness campaigns that focus on prevention and education among the general public including, for example, dissemination of youth oriented preventive literature, educational experiences, and public service announcements in the media.
  • Empirically driven research programs focusing on epidemiology/ prevalence, etiology/causation, and best practices in prevention and treatment.
  • Training of health care professionals and educators, and training for law enforcement agencies and nonprofit organizations in the identification of problem gambling behavior and knowledge of referral services and treatment programs.
  • Training of gambling industry personnel in identifying customers at risk for problem and pathological gambling and knowledge of referral and treatment services.

In designing and developing the overall program, the legislation directed ADP to do all of the following:

  • Develop a statewide plan to address problem and pathological gambling.
  • Adopt any regulations necessary to administer the program.
  • Develop priorities for funding services and criteria for distributing program funds.
  • Monitor the expenditures of state funds by agencies and organizations receiving program funding.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of services provided through the program.

The Legislature has set forth as the first and highest priority of the office with respect to the use of any funds appropriated for the purposes of this chapter shall be to carry out the development of the statewide plan. (Welfare and Institutions Code 4369.3)

Further information on the activities of OPG will be posted on this web site. For the complete text of the authorizing legislation, AB 673 2003, as chaptered, please go to www.leginfo.ca.gov. OPG questions and comments can be asked via email at opg@cdph.ca.gov.




About Office of Problem Gambling

Funding Opportunities

In implementing the provisions of Welfare and Institutions Code 4369 to provide quality problem gambling services to the people of California, the Office of Problem Gambling (OPG) posts funding opportunities on this webpage.

- There are currently no funding opportunities available -

Notification of Future Funding Opportunites

If you would like to receive an e-mail notification of future funding requests for proposals (RFP), please contact OPG by e-mail or by write to us at:

California Department of Public Health
Office of Problem Gambling
1616 Capitol Avenue, Suite 74.240
Sacramento, CA 95814

Office of Problem Gambling (OPG)
1616 Capitol Avenue
P.O. Box 997377 MS-8700
Sacramento, CA 95899
Office: (916) 327-8611
E-Mail: OPG@cdph.ca.gov
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1.800.426.2537
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