The National Council on Problem Gambling has announced the launch of Problem Gambling Awareness Month, which is in its nineteenth year.
The movement takes place during March Madness, an annual NCAA basketball tournament that draws over $8 billion in wagers and serves as the backdrop to which the NCPG and its allies around the world intend to raise awareness and take action for those suffering from gambling addiction.
Increase in demand for services
Keith Whyte, executive director of NCPG said: “March Madness is a time of year when we see an increase in gambling and more demand for our services.
“Too many people still don’t recognise they are exhibiting signs of this addictive behaviour and are unaware of the help that is available to them.”
The PGAM grassroots movement seeks to pull together a diverse community of supporters, including public health agencies, activist associations, and operators, including NCPG state affiliates.
Increase in the public awareness
In the 2021 iteration, the Washington, DC-based non-profit seeks to raise general awareness of problem gambling and empower healthcare providers to test clients for gambling issues.
On Gambling Disorder Screening Day, March 9, 2021, the NCPG will partner with the Cambridge Health Alliance. The international festival, which has been held annually on the second Tuesday in March since 2014, is organised by CHA, a non-profit health association located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Its aim is to enable health care providers to screen for gambling issues in the same manner they screen for alcohol and substance use disorders or domestic violence, and to give the public and health care providers the tools to diagnose gambling illness.
Whyte added: “Problem gambling is certainly not confined to sports betting. We want anyone who may have a problem with any form of gambling to know that they don’t have to suffer in silence.”