Treatment Works

The good news about gambling addiction is that treatment is effective, and recovery is real and attainable. Minnesotans who have struggled with problem gambling have found hope, and ultimately success.



The Story of One Man’s Video Gaming Addiction

Cam Adair, a recovering video game addict, recounts his 10-year-long video addiction in in a Tedx talk.

Here are a few such success stories.

Veteran Chases Adrenalin Rush Of Combat
Like many other veterans, William faced the challenge of trying to match the adrenalin rush that combat provided after his military deployment was over. The closest thing he could find was gambling, but that got out of hand. Read more

Supportive Family Inspires Gambler to Address Addiction
David had every intention of ending his life when his arrest for stealing from his employer revealed the depth of his gambling addiction. But thanks to a supportive family and counseling for both David and his family, he is thriving in recovery. Read more

A Gambling Recovery Not Predicated On Willpower
Ann always thought getting over a gambling addiction was a matter of willpower. But counseling taught her otherwise. Once she realized it was a choice, things changed for the better. Read more

Both Recovering Gamblers, Husband and Wife Conquer Addiction
Charlie and Kathy are both recovering gamblers. They are also husband and wife. The unique circumstances of their meeting — in gambling treatment — has helped them with both their recovery and their marriage. Read more

From Black Jack to Slots, a Story of Addiction and Recovery
When you consider that Christine was exposed to gambling at age nine, had a father that was a bookie, and won a $15,000 jackpot from a $20 slot play that was foretold in a dream she had the night before, you begin to understand how Christine developed a gambling addiction. Read more

Ready to Explode From Within, Gambler Seeks Help
Denny vividly remembers the voice inside his head: “When is this going to stop?” He was ready to explode from the guilt and dishonesty welling up inside. Then he found help. Read more

Spouse of Sports-Loving Gambling Endures Long, Challenging Road
What does it feel like to endure the destruction brought about by a spouse’s gambling addiction? Dianne details the trials and tribulations of being married to a sports-loving gambler whose cycle of lies and deceit continued for eight years. Read more

Kid Gambler Becomes Addiction Advocate
Fred was a child phenom, establishing a reputation as a kid who could play poker at a high level. He dreamed of becoming a World Series of Poker champion. But along the way, he developed addictions to both drinking and gambling, eventually “ping-ponging” from one back to the other. Now well into his recovery, Fred is still passionate about addiction, but it’s part of a chosen career to help others. Read more

Relapse is Often Part of Gambling Recovery
Jack learned the hard way that relapse is often a part of recovery. And he also learned that with each relapse, the crash and burn happened more quickly. Read more

Struggling with Dual Addictions, Woman Finds Life-Changing Help
Like many gambling addicts, Jane was on the brink of committing suicide. Her dual addictions, gambling and alcohol, left her feeling that she’d had enough of life. But a call to an old counselor changed her life. Read more

Son of Problem Gambler Watches Addiction Ravage Family
Jim grew up in middle-class, small town Minnesota. But his father was a big gambler and drinker, addictions that would ultimately lead to a family intervention that changed Jim’s life—and his understanding of addiction. Read more

Embezzling CEO Thrives on Second Chance After Gambling Disclosure
Mary, a president and CEO, stole money from her company to support her gambling. Later, when it was time to come clean, she addressed the company’s board of directors, the very people she lied to. To her surprise, they gave her a second chance. She has not disappointed them. Read more

Spouse of Gambling Addict Takes Care of Herself First
Rachel’s trust in her husband was so destroyed by his lies about his gambling that she was afraid to take weekend getaways with her girlfriends. She ultimately got a divorce, realizing that that was no way to live. She still loves him, even as he continues to decline the help he so desperately needs. Read more

Overcome By Addiction, Gambler Realized Help Was Within Reach
To many, Randy seemed like the ideal husband, father, neighbor and coworker. But inside he was a little insecure boy who was unfulfilled, aimless and escaping from life. Eventually, he found his way, grasping on to the “recovery lines” that he realizes were actually everywhere. Read more

Auto Accident Provides Turning Point for Longtime Gambling Addict
Each person who embarks on a recovery from gambling addiction has a different turning point. For Sally, it was a car accident that could have resulted in death or paralysis. She began to live a different life the next day. Read more

Eighteen Birthday Celebration Sparks a Gambling Obsession
Like so many of his friends, Eddie celebrated the evening of his eighteenth birthday by going to the casino. As he placed his first bet on the table, he experienced a thrill he’d never felt before. He stayed until sunrise and returned several times each week, sometimes skipping sleep. He was hooked and it began to destroy his life. Read more

A Gambling Addict Discovers Relationship Between Drinking and Gambling
It wasn’t until he went to treatment for gambling addiction that Bob realized he also had a drinking problem. And the more he learned about addiction in general, the more he understood how his drinking and gambling went hand in hand. Read more

Help for anyone suffering from gambling addiction is just one call away. Call the Minnesota Problem Gambling Helpline at (800) 333-HOPE. The helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Gambling Recovery Starts Here

Treatment for gambling addiction works. Recovery allows one to experience a new, better world with emotional, spiritual and physical health. It starts with a call to the Minnesota Gambling Helpline at 1-800-333-HOPE or a visit to Treatment for gambling addiction is offered at no cost in the state of Minnesota.

Holiday Season Reminder: Lottery Tickets Are Not Appropriate Gifts for Minors

(ROSEVILLE, MN (December 3, 2019) -The Minnesota Lottery and the Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance (NPGA) announced today they are participating in an international responsible gambling campaign to raise awareness about the risks of underage lottery play during the holiday season. Both organizations will promote...

Internet Responsible Gambling Standards

Gambling may have benefits but also has well documented negative consequences. Internet gambling is no exception. It is clear that some who gamble online will develop problems and that these problems are serious. The most ethical and cost-effective response to gambling addiction issues is a comprehensive public...

Study of Problem Gambling in MN’s Laotian Community

Though there was already a sense that gambling addiction is an issue in Minnesota’s Lao community, new research sponsored by Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance (NPGA) has discovered that findings from a community sample suggest elevated problem gambling behaviors.

“Positive Play” Messaging Emerges as Effective Approach in Gambling Education and Helplines

Traditionally, the approach to educating people about problem gambling has been a punitive one — i.e., if you don’t play responsibly you will experience problems. But new insights into the gambling education process, including those shared at the annual New Horizons Conference on Responsible Gambling, suggest a...

Minnesota Mulls Bills to Legalize Sports Betting

Two bills to legalize sports betting in Minnesota were introduced this year. The status and nature of each bill is detailed below. It doesn’t appear that Minnesota will pass either of these bills this session. Bill: SF1984 Description: The bill would establish a framework for betting through a sports pool and for...

Northstar Finalizes Strategic Plan

Northstar’s new strategic plan was approved by the board of directors in April. The final plan details six major organizational goals and 19 key strategies. The full strategic plan can be viewed here. Goals The goals identified in the process look out 10-15 years and will require strong partnerships to achieve. These...

Free Online Tool Blocks Access To Gambling Sites For Those In Recovery

Individuals recovering from a gambling addiction now have an option should they decide to restrict themselves from participating in online gambling., is a free online tool that users can install to stop themselves from accessing gambling sites. The tool is available for both desktop and mobile devices,...

2019 Problem Gambling Awareness Month in Review

Northstar once again actively participated in this year’s national Problem Gambling Awareness Month activities in March. Northstar’s efforts focused primarily on social media, and included a campaign that targeted treatment providers, the general public and frequent casino visitors. Communication to Treatment...