Teens and young adults, especially college students are twice as likely to become compulsive gamblers than any other segment of society and something must be done to stem that tide. That’s the takeaway following a meeting today at the State House with gaming industry leaders, law enforcement and state officials.

“That’s an area where I think the state needs to focus its attention and energy,” says Donald Weinbaum, executive director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey. “The goal is to have appropriate prevention, awareness and treatment programs across this state.”

A five-year working group is being assembled to tackle the issue of gambling addiction. Recovering gambling addict Gary Schneider says he’ seeing an increasing number of young people become addicted to gambling in casinos and buying lottery tickets by the handful. Schneider now helps treat problem gamblers.