Problem gambling is defined as all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family, or vocational pursuits. Approximately 2 million U.S. adults (1% of the population) are estimated to meet criteria for severe problem gambling. Another 4-6 million (2-3%) meet the criteria for mild or moderate problem gambling.
“Across southwest Kansas this March which is Problem Gambling Awareness Month, the Southwest Kansas Problem Gambling Task Force is committing to making sure the public understand what the signs of problem gambling are, and most importantly, the resources that are available to get help,” said Amy Falcon, Task Force Chair.
The hashtag for the campaign this year is #PGAM2022, which participants are encouraged to use on the various social media platforms. In southwest Kansas, the Problem Gambling Taskforce brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including the Ford County Extension Office, the City of Dodge City, Boothill Casino and Resort, Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas, Southwind Broadcasting, Mirror Inc., Southwest Kansas Area Agency on Aging (SWKAAA), the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services, and local treatment providers. They work collaboratively to let people know that hope and help exist not just during Problem Gambling month, but throughout the year.
“March Madness is a particularly challenging time for individuals and families who struggle with problem gambling,” said Falcon. “Forty-seven million Americans are expected to wager on the 2021 March Madness tournament, with illegal wagers totaling more than 2.5 billion a year. When the bet goes wrong, it can lead to significant debt, broken families and even suicide. If we can reach someone who is struggling with an alternative concrete message for how to get help, that could be potentially life-changing.”
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call or text the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network at 1-800-522-4700 or visit www.ncpg.org/chat for confidential help. For more information about problem gambling and how to increase awareness and action on problem gambling, go to www.ncpgambling.org/pgam and https://www.swks-problemgambling.org/.
About the Southwest Kansas Problem Gambling Task Force Founded in 2008, the mission of the Southwest Kansas Problem Gambling Task Force is to raise awareness and provide education to individuals, families, and communities to reduce the harmful effects of problem gambling. The Task Force is neither for nor against gambling but concentrates on efforts to help those affected by problem gambling through public awareness, prevention and education programs and ensuring resources are available to problem gamblers and their families.
About the National Council on Problem Gambling NCPG is the national advocate for people and families affected by problem gambling. NCPG is neutral on legalized gambling and works with all stakeholders to promote responsible gambling. For information on NCPG’s 35th National Conference on Gambling Addiction & Responsible Gambling, visit www.ncpgambling.org/conference.