The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) has announced that its Gambling Awareness Month programme will once again devote the month of March to helping people who face gambling problems. The change is timely given the growing anticipation and exposure that is expected to generate an estimated $10bn in wagers for the NCAA March Madness basketball championship.
Calls to the National Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-522-4700) are expected to spike dramatically over the month, said the NCPG, with approximately two million US adults (1% of the national population) projected to meet specific gambling addiction requirements, and an additional four to six million (2% to 3%) suspected to have gambling problems.
The NCPG created Problem Gambling Awareness Month (#PGAM) using the tagline #AwarenessPlusAction to raise awareness of the prevention, treatment and recovery services available to individuals who are adversely affected by gambling.
This grassroots campaign brings together a wide variety of stakeholders including public health agencies, advocacy groups including state affiliates with the NCPG, and gaming operators. They work together to publicise things like how to determine if someone has a gambling problem, how to get help, and how this treatment works–in short, there is hope and support.
NCPG has a special web page for providing information on local state activities and events–participants can share this information via a connexion at www.ncpgambling.org/pgam.
Executive Director Keith Whyte commented: “March Madness is a time when we see an increase in gambling and more outreach for our services. PGAM is important to me – and NCPG and our partners as a whole – because we want to help individuals with problem gambling, and this is the peak time for raising awareness of the issue.”
PGAM will also include a Gambling Addiction Screening Day on March 10, 2020, organised in partnership with the Cambridge Health Alliance, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based, non-profit health organisation. Gambling Addiction Screening Day is an international event designed to support the detection of gambling disorders by health care providers.
— NCPG (@NCPGambling) February 25, 2020