Gambling addiction rates rise as casino industry expands, leaving gaps in treatment services

HARTFORD, Conn. - As the casino industry expands, gambling addiction rates are on the rise, leaving gaps in treatment services.

The unrelenting spread of casino gambling across America is reaping billions of dollars for the industry and government coffers yet is also creating more compulsive gamblers. Addiction experts say the sum spent for treatment and counseling isn't enough to keep pace.

Even in tough economic times, developers are building new casinos with the blessings of cash-hungry states.

Advocates for an expansion of treatment services point to enormous gaps between the money states are taking in and what they're spending on compulsive gambling. In Pennsylvania, casinos and card rooms generated about $2.3 billion in revenue in 2010. The state's gambling treatment fund got $17.5 million between 2007 and last year.

Connecticut's casinos, off-track betting and state lottery generated nearly $659 million in state revenue in 2012. Problem-gambling services got $1.9 million.