FCA Opens Gambling Support and Wellness Centers

Feb 7, 2024 | Press Release

Two locations will be housed in Hempstead and Hicksville, with other locations to come.

Garden City, New York… February 6, 2024… Family & Children’s Association (FCA), Long Island’s leading health and human services nonprofit organization, announced today the opening of two FCA Gambling Support and Wellness Centers, one in Hempstead, the other in Hicksville.

The announcement was made during a press conference at FCA headquarters in Garden City. Joining FCA President and CEO Jeffrey L. Reynolds, PhD at the podium were FCA Assistant VP Clinical Services Nicolle Vasselman; Pam Brenner-Davis, Regional Team Lead NY Council on Problem Gambling Resource Center; Ron Reese, Sr. Vice President Las Vegas Sands; Michael Bonakdar, the General Manager of Jake’s 58 and Addis Carbonnell-O’Connell, Director of Compliance at Jake’s 58.

“The Long Island Problem Gambling Resource Center is excited to have FCA join the community of Problem Gambling treatment on Long Island,” said Pam Brenner-Davis Team Lead at the Long Island Problem Gambling Resource Center. “As the region sees a continued expansion of gambling opportunities, the need for comprehensive care is growing. FCA is a strong partner in the community, and we look forward to further collaboration to address gambling harms.”

“We’re proud to partner with FCA, an organization that’s been a staple on Long Island for 140- years,” said Ron Reese, Sr. Vice President Las Vegas Sands. “They will be providing a valuable resource to the community to those who might need it.”

Las Vegas Sands also announced a $200,000 donation to support FCA’s two new Gambling Support and Wellness Centers.

From the state lottery expansion to casinos to online sports betting, which became legal in New York in 2021, gambling is here to stay. On Long Island, the industry is bigger than ever and growing by the day.

New York recently announced that it generated $862 million from mobile sports wagering in its second year of operation. When added to $693 million and $200 million in licensing fees collected in 2022, that brings the total generated revenue to $1.75 billion.

For many, gambling can be a form of entertainment. However, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling, about 4-6 million Americans have a gambling problem. With the increase in online sports betting, gambling has reached newer, younger audiences, many unaware of the larger consequences of problem gambling.

FCA, with its 140-year history of helping Long Islanders, has won state certification from the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) to provide problem gambling counseling and support to those who need or want help. FCA’s new Gambling Support and Wellness Centers will offer individual, group, and family counseling, including financial counseling and planning, to individuals and families experiencing problem gambling issues.

“It’s imperative for us to introduce important new programs such as this one, especially as the need emerges,” said FCA President and CEO Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds. “As problem gambling continues to surge, particularly among young people ages 25-34, we want to make the resources readily available to Long Islanders who need or want help.”

About FCA

FCA is a not-for-profit agency helping more than 35,000 Long Islanders each year. For nearly 140 years, the organization has worked to protect and strengthen vulnerable children, seniors, families, and communities on Long Island.

FCA believes in the potential of Long Island – a place where no child, senior, family or community is left to struggle alone with barriers to health care, education, employment, or economic prosperity. Long Island continues to be one of the greatest places in the world to live and raise a family for many; FCA exists to ensure that be the case for all.

For more information about FCA, visit FCALI.org.