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New Jersey Considers Specialized Court for Gambling Addicts

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New Jersey lawmakers are considering adding a gambling treatment diversion court to their triaged system that already includes a drug court and diversionary court for veterans, reports Michael Symons for New Jersey 101.5. Assisting with the development of the proposal is former Judge Cheryl Moss, a New Jersey native who presided over the nation’s first gambling diversion court in Nevada from 2018 to 2020. Moss said the program includes treatment, drug testing and financial and location monitoring and could potentially divert 30 to 50 defendants at any given time into the program, which generally takes three years to complete.

Felicia Grondin, executive director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, said gambling addiction is a problem that’s growing as gaming expands. Lisa Nower, a Rutgers University professor and director of its Center for Gambling Studies, said that gambling can have the same effects on the brain as drugs and that addicts often turn to criminal  acts to find the cash to feed their need to gamble.

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