In the proclamation, Brownback cited the Kansas Coalition Problem Gambling, the Kansas Responsible Gambling Alliance and community task forces in the gambling zones surrounding state-owned casinos in Dodge City, Mulvane, and Kansas City.
The Southwest Kansas, Northeast Kansas, and South Central Kansas Problem Gambling Task Forces are comprised of diverse community stakeholders who implement community prevention programs, disseminate information, offer education programs and provide problem gambling treatment services in their locales.
“The volunteers who join the regional task forces make an invaluable contribution to ensure Kansas communities enjoy the economic benefits of state owned casino gaming while mitigating the potential negative consequences associated with all forms of problem gambling.”
Task force volunteers represent multiple community sectors including behavioral health prevention and treatment professionals, educators, public safety officials, representatives of the gaming industry, civic and youth organizations, business, government and faith-based organizations. To continue strengthening their capabilities and resources, the Kansas Department For Aging and Disability Services that administers the Problem Gambling and Other Addictions Grant Fund invites community stakeholders to get involved with these regional prevention efforts through KDADS or www.ksproblemgambling.com that contains contact information and links.
Problem gambling is a public health issue affecting thousands of Kansans Americans of all ages, races, and ethnic background and can have a significant societal and economic cost for individuals, families, businesses and communities. Problem gambling is treatable and treatment is effective in minimizing this harm to both individuals and society as a whole.
These individuals, professionals and organizations have dedicated their efforts to the education of the public about problem gambling risk factors, the availability of treatment, and harnessing community resources so those exposed to the risks and negatively impacted by problem gambling can get the support they need.
KDADS Secretary Kari Bruffett echoed the Governor’s proclamation. “Kansas is fortunate to have such a dedicated group of volunteers across the state who work tirelessly in community outreach and developing local programs to mitigate the personal and social risks associated with problem gambling. The regional task forces bring perspective, community relationships, prevention and treatment expertise, and the ability to mobilize resources needed to engage community stakeholders and the Kansas families who are at risk.”
Those risks are persistent so there’s an ongoing need for others across the spectrum in those communities to get involved by contacting their regional Problem Gambling Task Force.