Lawmakers have voted to reduce the budget for the state’s problem gambling program by more than half and rejected the idea of earmarking gaming revenue to pay for it. The program handles not only treatment for problem gamblers, but research into the problem that officials say has grown exponentially.
Its current budget is $1.4 million a year. But the governor recommended $4.7 million for 2020 and $4.8 million for 2021.
“Lawmakers should appropriate the necessary money from the General Fund because that’s the Legislature’s job,” Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno said.
Maggie Carlton, Assemblywoman, D-Las Vegas said she would be comfortable with $2 million a year and review the program going forward.
The subcommittee of Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means approved $2 million a year in General Fund money to support problem gambling programs, but authorised the program managers to use the funds as best they see fit and then report to the Interim Finance Committee on how the money was spent and what it accomplished.