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Chat with Problem Gambling Center executive director Krista Creelman

November 24, 2009

Problem Gambling Center executive director Krista Creelman answered questions about gambling addiction from Las Vegas Sun readers from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24.


Is there any help for addicts outside 12 step programs and outside Nevada? Do you think that a person addicted to gambling can truly stop on his own (as referenced in the first Sun article)?

Krista Creelman

Yes there is help for addicts outside of 12 step programs. Many states have inpatient and outpatient treatment programs that specialize in compulsive gambling.

No we do not believe a person who suffers with gambling addiction can simply stop on with their own willpower.


Is the gambling court approved by our legislature really going to get off the ground

Krista Creelman

Yes! We are excited to report that is currently being utilized in court cases in Nevada.


What percentage of problem gamblers will commit a crime to fund their gambling? What should an employer do if he discovers an employee has embezzled money because of a gambling problem?

Krista Creelman

We do not have a set percentage of gamblers that will commit a crime soley to support their compulsive gambling. AB102 allows judges to mandate treatment and restitution for first time offenders.

The offender must be held accountable to the appropriate authority. If you have further questions that involve embezzlement and compulsive gambling, please contact us at 702-363-0290.


Tell us about the Problem Gambling Center and how it works.

Krista Creelman

The Problem Gambling Center offers an intensive outpatient program in addition to individual and family therapy. Our program lasts 6 weeks and is run by Dr. Robert Hunter, and certified gambling specific counselors. We are a nonprofit organization that offers help at a very low cost. Please feel free to call if you or a loved one suffers from compulsive gambling.


Does living in Vegas, with the saturation of gambling images and with casinos creating our skyline, create tension for gambling addicts?

Krista Creelman

Temptation is difficult for any addict; however, Las Vegas is the best place in the world to recover from gambling addiction. Gamblers Anonymous has over 100 meetings per week in Southern Nevada. The State of Nevada funds many programs for the treatment of compulsive gambling.


Are casino employees who work on the casino floor more or less susceptible (more because they're around it all the time and less because they should know better) to a gambling addiction and if so, is treating those who work in this environment harder for you to help?

Krista Creelman

Casino employees are not more susceptible to gambling addiction. The addiction lies within the person not the casino. If a client is willing to follow our treatment plan, we have a high success rates with people from all walks of life.


What can family members do to be supportive of a loved one who seems to be a problem gambler?

Krista Creelman

Friends and family members are encouraged to support loved ones and contact GAM-ANON at 702-655-8184 for further information. The Problem Gambling Center offers a free family program that is open to anyone who may have questions about compulsive gambling. During this family workshop, clients will learn about the disease of gambling addiction. They will also be given the tools to help support their loved ones.