Senator-elect Hwang Honored for His Fight Against Gambling Addiction

December 24, 2014

HARTFORD – Citing his strong support of its mission, the CT Council on Problem Gambling on Dec. 15 presented state Senator-elect Tony Hwang (R-28) with its annual Legislative Award.

“We at the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling would like to thank Senator-elect Hwang for the time and effort he has devoted to further our mission to reduce the prevalence and impact of problem and pathological gambling on individuals, families, and society,” said Cheryl B. Chandler, Interim Executive Director of the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling.

“Senator-elect Hwang supported the Council’s efforts to voice concerns related to proposed gaming expansion in Connecticut and co-sponsored a press conference announcing National Problem Gambling Awareness Month in March of 2014.”

“I want to thank Senator John McKinney and former Congressman Bob Steele for their guidance on this critical issue and I am honored to receive this award from the CT Council on Problem Gambling, which does such important work in our state,” Hwang said. “Problem gambling impacts people from all walks of life, but it is especially crippling to those who are struggling financially and emotionally vulnerable.”

“Like most forms of addiction, problem gambling is a vicious cycle that often hurts those closest to us most, and we cannot ignore its connections to domestic violence, depression, crime and drug and alcohol abuse,” Hwang added. “Thanks to organizations like the CT Council on Problem Gambling, there are resources available for those who need help. We must make sure everyone knows that.”

Just as neighboring states are poised to open new casinos, there have been discussions here in Connecticut about expanding casinos and permitting other forms of gambling, like Keno and video slot machines and online gambling. Hwang stressed that any discussions of casino or gambling expansion in Connecticut must include serious considerations to the social ramifications inherent in problem gambling.

“We can’t look at gambling as a source of revenue unless we fully understand the damaging consequences of gambling addiction on our communities and the unforeseen impact on our impressionable youth population,” he said. “Until we do that, it’s a non-starter for me.”

The most recent study on the economic and social impacts of gambling in Connecticut was done in 2008, and released in 2009. The CT Council on Problem Gambling says a new study is overdue.

While Hwang supports commissioning such a study, he is convinced that the social impacts are far greater – and far too costly – than any economic benefits the state could derive from gambling.

For more information about the CT Council on Problem Gambling and the resources it provides, please visit the organization’s website: