Gambling Services

Debt? Stress? Are things getting out of hand? Up at night trying to figure out how you are going to pay it all back? We can help, and services are FREE.


First Step offers a full range of gambling assessment & treatment services. Our gambling program offers FREE evaluations, outreach & community education, and FREE treatment services for individuals and families. The Gambling Staff are certified and credentialed professionals experienced in working with co-occurring disorders such as substance abuse and/or mental health issues. First Step can provide a platform for creating change and we believe that the family’s involvement is very important to those struggling with gambling issues. Call First Step today at (402) 434-2730 to schedule an appointment.

Take the First Step: Evaluation & Assessment is FREE!

Assessing the gambler is different from assessing other types of addiction. All gambling evaluations are conducted by certified compulsive gambling counselors. The evaluation is offered FREE to Nebraska residents. The results of the evaluation will lead to an individualized treatment plan and recommendations for treatment based on the severity of the gambling problem. First Step offers FREE education and outreach services for any community employer or agency that would like to learn more about compulsive gambling and we will gladly come to you.

We Can Help with Your Finances

Gambling treatment services are funded by the Nebraska Gamblers Assistance Program. Gamblers generally have a substantial amount of debt by the time they seek treatment services and we want to assure you that no client will be turned away. Compulsive gambling often creates great financial hardship resulting in stress that disturbs the entire family. We can help to relieve the pressure of neglected financial obligations by working with clients and their families to develop realistic budgets, negotiating with creditors and developing dialogs with employers, and other affected community members.

Program Descriptions

Interventions Available - experienced staff to guide and assist individuals, families and employers.

Individual & Family Counseling Sessions - established by you and your counselor based on your individual preferences and needs. We meet you where you are at and we have provided assistance to individuals struggling to stop as well as those tempted to return to old behaviors in more of a maintenance phase yet still at risk.

Community Outreach & Gambling Education - First Step offers FREE education and outreach services for any community employer or agency that would like to learn more about compulsive gambling and we will gladly come to you. Ideal for employers, academic institutions, or students.

DSM5: Diagnostic Criteria for a Gambling Disorder

* For informational purposes only *

A. Persistent and recurrent problematic gambling behavior leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as indicated by the individual exhibiting four (or more) of the following in a 12 month period:

  1. Needs to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desired excitement.
  2. Is restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling.
  3. Has made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling.
  4. Is often preoccupied with gambling (e.g., having persistent thoughts of reliving past gambling experiences, handicapping or planning the next venture, thinking of ways to get money with which to gamble).
  5. Often gambles when feeling distressed (e.g., helpless, guilty, anxious, depressed).
  6. After losing money gambling, often returns another day to get even (“chasing” one’s losses).
  7. Lies to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling.
  8. Has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of gambling.
  9. Relies on others to provide money to relieve desperate financial situations caused by gambling.

From the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (section 312.31).

For any and all needs related to gambling outside of normal office hours please contact the gambling helpline at (800) 522-4700. Help is available 24/7 thanks to The Nebraska Gamblers Assistance Program and this helpline.

 Helpful Links:


 NET "Growing Up Gambling" video: