The mission of The Problem Gambling Center is to provide evaluation, individual, and group counseling services to persons who have gambling problems and the family and friends of our clients who are affected by gambling, without regard of their ability to pay.
HISTORY OF THE PROBLEM GAMBLING CENTER
In 1986, the treatment of problem gambling was in its infancy. Dr. Robert Custer, the universally acknowledged founding father of problem gambling treatment, came to Las Vegas with the idea of creating a world class treatment facility to help those with gambling problems in the gambling capital of the world. Upon his arrival, he selected the late Dr. Robert Hunter to co-design and direct what became the nations largest problem gambling inpatient treatment center. Over the years the program, run by Charter Hospital, treated thousands of problem gamblers and served the model for other treatment programs around the world. Eventually the program evolved into an outpatient program which proved to be even more successful than the inpatient program.
In 1998 Charter Hospital closed its doors and the late Dr. Robert Hunter opened The Problem Gambling Center (PGC). The center was incorporated as a non-profit agency in recognition of the fact that problem gamblers are unique. They have usually depleted the financial resources they need to get help. The mission of The Problem Gambling Center is to provide quality treatment to problem gamblers regardless of their financial situation. The Problem Gambling Center has vowed from day one too never turn anyone away because of lack of funds. The program is a success and has been recognized by dozens of national news programs, state governments and other countries (many of which now use PGC as a model for their national programs.)
With the help of our dedicated staff, thousands of residents have quietly but determinedly turned their lives around. Problem Gambling is so often an "Invisible" affliction; therefore, these are people who may be your child's teacher, your local banker, your neighborhood police officer or your family physician. PGC has helped not only those individuals who have gone through the treatment program, but also the family, friends and employers that are also affected directly and indirectly by the actions of the problem gambler.
It is estimated that up to 6% of the population of Nevada or 135,000 citizens have a gambling problem. A gambling problem is defined as a progressive disease characterized by increasing preoccupation with gambling, the need to make bigger bets and to bet more often, restlessness and irritability when trying to stop gambling, chasing losses and loss of control of one's life. The problem gambler will continue to gamble in spite of increasing financial, psychological, vocational, and social problems, eventually "hitting bottom" if they do not receive help. They often develop symptoms of major depression and can be at risk for suicide.
Problem gambling costs the state of Nevada, its businesses and its citizens millions of dollars annually. It contributes to homelessness, bankruptcy, loss of jobs and crime. Effective treatment and early intervention will cost a fraction of that amount, while at the same time saving lives, literally and figuratively.