Slot Machines on U.S. Military Bases Could be Banned

Slot Machines on U.S. Military Bases Could be Banned

Slot Machines on U.S. Military Bases Could be Banned

Published:

Jun 16, 2024

Published:

Jun 16, 2024

Published:

Jun 16, 2024

Slot machines on U.S. military bases have long been a controversial topic, sparking debates about their role and impact on service members. While they provide significant revenue and an additional recreational activity, concerns about Gambling Addiction among military personnel have prompted calls for their removal. This article delves into the history and financial motivations behind slot machines on military bases, the growing concerns over Gambling Addiction, the push to ban these machines and the resources available for service members struggling with gambling problems.

Why are there slot machines on military bases? 

Slot machines have actually been banned on military bases on U.S. soil since 1951. Overseas bases started having them removed in the 1970s, only to have them re-implemented in the 1980s to keep servicemen and women from venturing off base to gamble, sometimes illegally, as well as a means to boost morale and provide a recreational activity. As of 2017, Military.com reported 3,000+ slot machines are present across bases in 12 countries – primarily in Germany, Japan and South Korea. 

To really answer the question, “Why are there slot machines on military bases?” you have to follow the money. These on-site military slot machines generate north of $100 million annually, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. With that revenue, the U.S. The Department of Defense (DOD), which operates these military base slot machines, funds other recreational activities, such as golf courses and family activity centers. 

Gambling Addiction concerns

Of course, there are concerns over the DOD running these slot machines, as opposed to a public health institution, reaping from the financial windfall of its servicemen and women. Research indicates that military personnel are at a higher risk of developing Gambling Addiction compared to the general population. 

The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) estimates 56,000 service members meet criteria for a Gambling Disorder, aligning with a Rutgers University 2021 study identifying active-duty service members were more than twice as likely to exhibit Problem Gambling signs. 

To paraphrase NCPG executive director Keith Whyte’s point to NPR, military personnel consist of young male risk-takers who have a higher likelihood of suffering from substance abuse, stress, depression or PTSD. Additional Factors such as frequent relocations and long periods away from family contribute to this increased vulnerability. Gambling Addiction can lead to severe consequences, including financial ruin, mental health issues and even disciplinary actions within the military.

The push to ban slot machines on military bases

The ongoing debate over slot machines on military bases has intensified, with a growing push to ban them. Congressman Paul Tonko (D) of New York recently introduced legislation aimed at prohibiting these machines on all U.S. military installations. Tonko argues the availability of slot machines exacerbates Gambling Addiction problems among service members and undermines their overall well-being. He emphasizes the need to protect military personnel from the negative impacts of gambling and to prioritize their mental and financial health.

Advocates of the ban highlight that the revenue generated from slot machines does not justify the potential harm caused to service members. They argue that alternative funding sources should be explored to support welfare and recreation programs, without relying on gambling revenue. Additionally, proponents believe that banning slot machines would align with the military's commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles and supporting the holistic well-being of its members.

Tonko hopes to add an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that, if approved by Congress, would prohibit funding from being used to operate slot machines on military bases.

Gambling Addiction Resources & Treatment for Veterans

For service members and veterans struggling with Gambling Addiction, there are resources and treatment options available. Birches Health provides specialized treatment for Gambling Addiction, focusing on veterans' unique needs. Their services include individual counseling, group therapy and family counseling to address the root causes of addiction and provide comprehensive support.

Birches Health offers virtual treatment options, making it easier for veterans to access help from the comfort of their homes. These virtual services are designed to be as effective as in-person care, utilizing evidence-based therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to address gambling addiction. Veterans can benefit from personalized treatment plans, ongoing support and access to resources that help them regain control over their lives. To explore virtual treatment options or learn more about the offerings, you can visit BirchesHealth.com, call (833) 483-3838 or email hello@bircheshealth.com.

SOURCES:

Military.com

Casino.org

NPR

Government Accountability Office (GAO)

National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG)

National Library of Medicine

Slot machines on U.S. military bases have long been a controversial topic, sparking debates about their role and impact on service members. While they provide significant revenue and an additional recreational activity, concerns about Gambling Addiction among military personnel have prompted calls for their removal. This article delves into the history and financial motivations behind slot machines on military bases, the growing concerns over Gambling Addiction, the push to ban these machines and the resources available for service members struggling with gambling problems.

Why are there slot machines on military bases? 

Slot machines have actually been banned on military bases on U.S. soil since 1951. Overseas bases started having them removed in the 1970s, only to have them re-implemented in the 1980s to keep servicemen and women from venturing off base to gamble, sometimes illegally, as well as a means to boost morale and provide a recreational activity. As of 2017, Military.com reported 3,000+ slot machines are present across bases in 12 countries – primarily in Germany, Japan and South Korea. 

To really answer the question, “Why are there slot machines on military bases?” you have to follow the money. These on-site military slot machines generate north of $100 million annually, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. With that revenue, the U.S. The Department of Defense (DOD), which operates these military base slot machines, funds other recreational activities, such as golf courses and family activity centers. 

Gambling Addiction concerns

Of course, there are concerns over the DOD running these slot machines, as opposed to a public health institution, reaping from the financial windfall of its servicemen and women. Research indicates that military personnel are at a higher risk of developing Gambling Addiction compared to the general population. 

The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) estimates 56,000 service members meet criteria for a Gambling Disorder, aligning with a Rutgers University 2021 study identifying active-duty service members were more than twice as likely to exhibit Problem Gambling signs. 

To paraphrase NCPG executive director Keith Whyte’s point to NPR, military personnel consist of young male risk-takers who have a higher likelihood of suffering from substance abuse, stress, depression or PTSD. Additional Factors such as frequent relocations and long periods away from family contribute to this increased vulnerability. Gambling Addiction can lead to severe consequences, including financial ruin, mental health issues and even disciplinary actions within the military.

The push to ban slot machines on military bases

The ongoing debate over slot machines on military bases has intensified, with a growing push to ban them. Congressman Paul Tonko (D) of New York recently introduced legislation aimed at prohibiting these machines on all U.S. military installations. Tonko argues the availability of slot machines exacerbates Gambling Addiction problems among service members and undermines their overall well-being. He emphasizes the need to protect military personnel from the negative impacts of gambling and to prioritize their mental and financial health.

Advocates of the ban highlight that the revenue generated from slot machines does not justify the potential harm caused to service members. They argue that alternative funding sources should be explored to support welfare and recreation programs, without relying on gambling revenue. Additionally, proponents believe that banning slot machines would align with the military's commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles and supporting the holistic well-being of its members.

Tonko hopes to add an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that, if approved by Congress, would prohibit funding from being used to operate slot machines on military bases.

Gambling Addiction Resources & Treatment for Veterans

For service members and veterans struggling with Gambling Addiction, there are resources and treatment options available. Birches Health provides specialized treatment for Gambling Addiction, focusing on veterans' unique needs. Their services include individual counseling, group therapy and family counseling to address the root causes of addiction and provide comprehensive support.

Birches Health offers virtual treatment options, making it easier for veterans to access help from the comfort of their homes. These virtual services are designed to be as effective as in-person care, utilizing evidence-based therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to address gambling addiction. Veterans can benefit from personalized treatment plans, ongoing support and access to resources that help them regain control over their lives. To explore virtual treatment options or learn more about the offerings, you can visit BirchesHealth.com, call (833) 483-3838 or email hello@bircheshealth.com.

SOURCES:

Military.com

Casino.org

NPR

Government Accountability Office (GAO)

National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG)

National Library of Medicine

Slot machines on U.S. military bases have long been a controversial topic, sparking debates about their role and impact on service members. While they provide significant revenue and an additional recreational activity, concerns about Gambling Addiction among military personnel have prompted calls for their removal. This article delves into the history and financial motivations behind slot machines on military bases, the growing concerns over Gambling Addiction, the push to ban these machines and the resources available for service members struggling with gambling problems.

Why are there slot machines on military bases? 

Slot machines have actually been banned on military bases on U.S. soil since 1951. Overseas bases started having them removed in the 1970s, only to have them re-implemented in the 1980s to keep servicemen and women from venturing off base to gamble, sometimes illegally, as well as a means to boost morale and provide a recreational activity. As of 2017, Military.com reported 3,000+ slot machines are present across bases in 12 countries – primarily in Germany, Japan and South Korea. 

To really answer the question, “Why are there slot machines on military bases?” you have to follow the money. These on-site military slot machines generate north of $100 million annually, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. With that revenue, the U.S. The Department of Defense (DOD), which operates these military base slot machines, funds other recreational activities, such as golf courses and family activity centers. 

Gambling Addiction concerns

Of course, there are concerns over the DOD running these slot machines, as opposed to a public health institution, reaping from the financial windfall of its servicemen and women. Research indicates that military personnel are at a higher risk of developing Gambling Addiction compared to the general population. 

The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) estimates 56,000 service members meet criteria for a Gambling Disorder, aligning with a Rutgers University 2021 study identifying active-duty service members were more than twice as likely to exhibit Problem Gambling signs. 

To paraphrase NCPG executive director Keith Whyte’s point to NPR, military personnel consist of young male risk-takers who have a higher likelihood of suffering from substance abuse, stress, depression or PTSD. Additional Factors such as frequent relocations and long periods away from family contribute to this increased vulnerability. Gambling Addiction can lead to severe consequences, including financial ruin, mental health issues and even disciplinary actions within the military.

The push to ban slot machines on military bases

The ongoing debate over slot machines on military bases has intensified, with a growing push to ban them. Congressman Paul Tonko (D) of New York recently introduced legislation aimed at prohibiting these machines on all U.S. military installations. Tonko argues the availability of slot machines exacerbates Gambling Addiction problems among service members and undermines their overall well-being. He emphasizes the need to protect military personnel from the negative impacts of gambling and to prioritize their mental and financial health.

Advocates of the ban highlight that the revenue generated from slot machines does not justify the potential harm caused to service members. They argue that alternative funding sources should be explored to support welfare and recreation programs, without relying on gambling revenue. Additionally, proponents believe that banning slot machines would align with the military's commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles and supporting the holistic well-being of its members.

Tonko hopes to add an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that, if approved by Congress, would prohibit funding from being used to operate slot machines on military bases.

Gambling Addiction Resources & Treatment for Veterans

For service members and veterans struggling with Gambling Addiction, there are resources and treatment options available. Birches Health provides specialized treatment for Gambling Addiction, focusing on veterans' unique needs. Their services include individual counseling, group therapy and family counseling to address the root causes of addiction and provide comprehensive support.

Birches Health offers virtual treatment options, making it easier for veterans to access help from the comfort of their homes. These virtual services are designed to be as effective as in-person care, utilizing evidence-based therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to address gambling addiction. Veterans can benefit from personalized treatment plans, ongoing support and access to resources that help them regain control over their lives. To explore virtual treatment options or learn more about the offerings, you can visit BirchesHealth.com, call (833) 483-3838 or email hello@bircheshealth.com.

SOURCES:

Military.com

Casino.org

NPR

Government Accountability Office (GAO)

National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG)

National Library of Medicine