Lake County Agency Aims To Help Addictions Related To Legalized Gambling

Craig Dellimore
January 21, 2019 - 4:11 pm
legalized gambling and addictions

ID 44132229 © Matthiase |


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Lake County and service agencies said they are working hard to respond to people fighting gambling addiction as gaming rapidly expands in the area.

Elizabeth Thielen, Senior Director of the  Nicasa treatment program, said the problem is that whether it's video gaming, the lottery, bingo or casino, opportunities to gamble are everywhere. And more than 10,000 Lake County residents struggle with gambling addiction. Thielen said people are losing their money for groceries and rent -- and hurting their families.

Addiction can mean problems for families and finances. It can also lead to suicides. But, Thielen said, opportunities for help are expanding, too.

The good news, she added, is that Lake County Government has increased resources for public education and treatment to help problem gamblers, and her program is among those stepping up.

Thielen said people with gambling problems can call Nicasa for a free consultation at 847-546-6450.

There's also a national hotline for help. It's 1-800-GAMBLER