Queens PGRC

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A Hidden Risk Among Our Veterans

In November, we celebrate National Veteran Month and Military Families Month. It is a time to reflect on the sacrifices that our nation’s military and military families make every day. Our nation’s veterans and service members face challenges that many of us will never know. The families of those individuals show strength, courage, and resiliency as they love and support those that serve. They put their lives on hold, adjust to new living situations and communities so that their loved ones can continue to serve our nation.  

This month we highlight the unique challenges that our service members face as well as the impact it may have on their families in relation to problem gambling. We want both service members and their families to know that there are support and resources available to anyone who has been impacted by problem gambling.  

Why do Veterans and Military Personnel Gamble

There can be many reasons why those in the military may gamble. Life in the military is quite different than civilian life. Military members may turn to gambling to pass time, escape stress and cope with emotions. Opportunities to gamble are vast, especially on base and overseas. On base slot machines, friendly sports wagers, and simple card games can serve as recreation, but can quickly spiral out of control. 

Problems with gambling can also impact family members back at home. Problem gambling can lead to financial issues, lack of trust, and relationship issues. When you add in the stress of a deployment or a return to civilian life, these problems can be magnified.  

Recent research by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and Bowling Green State University has indicated that problem gambling is 3.5 times higher among active military personnel compared to the general population. In addition, research shows that active-duty service members seek help for problem gambling at significantly lower rates than the civilian population, often out of fear of facing negative consequences on their military career. 

The Facts 

We know that Veterans are at a higher risk of developing a gambling problem. We also know that problem gambling is often referred to as the hidden addiction. It is important to understand why Veterans and Military members are at a higher risk, as well as know where help is available. 

  • Veterans with PTS have a 60% higher rate of gambling addiction than the general population. 
  • Problem gambling often co-occurs with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress (PTS) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). 
  • 44% of veterans in treatment for problem gambling reported making suicide attempts. 
  • 66.4% of veterans seeking treatment for gambling disorder reported a lifetime history of substance abuse or dependence. 
  • Gambling disorder is the second strongest predictor of homelessness among veterans, second to illicit drug use. 

Where to Get Help  

This November lets raise awareness about the impact problem gambling can have on Veterans, Active-Duty Military, and their families. If someone you know is struggling with their gambling, know that help and hope are available.  

The New York Council on Problem Gambling operates seven regional Problem Gambling Resource Centers across the state. Together these centers work in partnership with the NYCPG Veteran Outreach Coordinator. Reach out to your nearest PGRC for resources, guidance, and confidential support. www.NYProblemGamblingHELP.org  

The Queens Problem Gambling Resource Center (PGRC) is a program of the New York Council on Problem Gambling dedicated to addressing the issue of problem gambling within New York State. The vision of the PGRC is the positive transformation of lives harmed by problem gambling. The PGRC focuses efforts on increasing public awareness of problem gambling; connecting clients with treatment, recovery and support services; working with the gaming industry to promote responsible gambling; and promoting healthy lifestyles which foster freedom from problem gambling. Visit www.NYProblemGamblingHELP.org to learn more about the PGRC network.

The Queens PGRC currently offers treatment options available in: English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Tagalog, Urdu, Hindi, and Russian. We’re always on the lookout for new clinicians to expand our range of treatment options. If you or someone you know is interested in joining our clinician network, click here to view our Eligibility Requirements.

Want to get involved and bring problem gambling awareness to your neighborhood or community? Have questions about the programs and services we offer? Get in touch with us at 347-761-3103 or email us at [email protected]


The Queens Problem Gambling Resource Center is a program of the New York Council on Problem Gambling, which is funded by the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports.  The Queens PGRC is dedicated to addressing the issue of problem gambling in Queens through increasing public awareness and connecting those adversely affected with services that can help them.

The Queens Problem Gambling Resource Center is dedicated to the positive transformation of lives harmed by problem gambling. This vision of transformation includes individuals with a gambling problem as well as their families and communities. With a focus on supporting the individual and reducing barriers to care, the Queens PGRC is truly the premier center for providing problem gambling services in Queens, NY.

Queens PGRC Team

  • Robin Singh

    Robin Singh Team Leader

  • Shawna Black

    Shawna Black Program Manager



  • Eileen Dwyer, LCSW

    Eileen Dwyer, LCSW Clinician

  • Mimose Nelson, LCSW

    Mimose Nelson, LCSW Clinician

  • Beth Schwartz, LCSW, CPGC

    Beth Schwartz, LCSW, CPGC Clinician

  • Ellen Reiner, LCSW, CASAC

    Ellen Reiner, LCSW, CASAC Clinician

  • Tracey Little, LSCW, CASAC

    Tracey Little, LSCW, CASAC Clinician

Additional PGRC Team Programs:
NYS Office of Addictions Services and Supports Problem Gambling Treatment and Prevention
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