There's no doubt you've seen the many casinos that line the streets here in Billings, and it's highlighted a very serious problem issue of gambling addiction. I personally have seen people go through it and it never comes out good, but I wanted to know where Montana in general ranks in terms of the severity of gambling addiction. Bad news everyone, we rank as one of the top five worst states for it.

How can someone get addicted to gambling?

When someone is addicted to gambling, they aren't necessarily addicted to the games themselves, they're addicted to the rush of dopamine one gets when they win. So, if they lose, they'll usually keep going just to find that feeling once again.

This can absolutely ruin someone's life, however, because gambling costs money and soon the addict will find themselves out of money or in large amounts of debt. They may even resort to theft to get the money they need to keep going.

Where does Montana rank?

According to data from, Montana ranks number 4 in the nation in gambling addiction, with only South Dakota, Mississippi, and Nevada above it. Information for their research was found using two statistics they call "gambling friendliness" and "gambling problem and treatment."

Gambling friendliness looks to be the accessibility and legality of gambling within that particular state, and gambling problem and treatment relate to the number of people with gambling disorders and the number of ways to treat those particular disorders. Montana's scores were #3 in gambling friendliness and #3 in gambling treatment, so it seems we have a lot of ways to access gambling, but we also have lots of ways to treat that issue.

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If you or someone you know is suffering from a gambling problem, there is help. You can contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700 for more information.

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