he Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) is recognizing March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month in order to promote resources intended to help individuals with a gambling problem.
As part of the agency’s actions to raise awareness of problem and compulsive gambling and provide both professionals and individuals with information, the PGCB has launched an updated user-friendly website that provides information on how to recognize the warning signs of a gambling problem and to find treatment options that are available in Pennsylvania.
Elizabeth Lanza, Director of the PGCB’s Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling, said that while the agency recognizes that most individuals can gamble in a safe, responsible manner, not all are able to control their gambling behavior.
“Gambling addiction is real, is preventable and is treatable, and the PGCB and its partners want all PA citizens who face the perils of problem gambling to know that treatment is available and effective,” Lanza said. “This includes the launch of a new website with easy-to-find information on detecting a gambling problem along with various avenues available for help.”
Lanza said the new website address is www.ResponsiblePlay.pa.gov and can also be accessed via a link on the homepage of the PGCB’s website. She added that for information on problem gambling treatment and other resources, individuals can also call 1-800-GAMBLER.
During Problem Gambling Awareness Month, staff with the PGCB’s Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling along with their partners, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, the Pennsylvania Lottery and the Council on Compulsive and Problem Gambling, will be available at the following five events:
Gaming Control Board Executive Director Kevin F. O’Toole said the agency’s role in protecting the interests of the public has included efforts to make sure individuals know about the help available before the problem develops. He noted that with the passing of Act 42 of 2017, which increases gambling activities beyond land-based casinos, the legislature wisely continued to increase gambling treatment and prevention dollars to ensure the new types of legalized gambling contribute to the Compulsive and Problem Gambling Treatment Fund.
“Our agency has made outreach for individuals with gambling disorders a priority since the opening of the first casinos in Pennsylvania over 13 years ago,” said O’Toole. “As new forms of gaming were rolled out over the past year, the PGCB made sure that new tools and resources, including online self-imposed limits and responsible gambling pages are available through each iGaming site to assist individuals in gambling responsibly.”