Multiple PA Organizations To Host Problem Gambling Meetings This Month

Written By Corey Sharp on March 1, 2024
Image representing responsible gambling with a hand stopping the falling blocks for a story about gaming organizations tied to Pennsylvania hosting multiple responsible gambling awareness meetings in March.

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month, as gambling organizations in Pennsylvania are gearing up for an important period of time. Retail and online gaming has grown rapidly in the Keystone State and it’s up to certain institutions to give bettors the resources needed to either prevent or treat problem gambling.

The following organizations are coming together to host two problem gambling gatherings this month:

  • Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB)
  • Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP)
  • Council on Compulsive Gambling of PA (CCGP)
  • Pennsylvania Lottery

Each of these groups has an obligation to help promote responsible gambling in Pennsylvania.

Problem gambling awareness sessions for Pennsylvania bettors

The four organizations listed above are coming together for an important month. According to a press release, DDAP, PA Lottery, PGCB and CCGP will be hosting two public gatherings:

  • March 18: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the East Wing Rotunda of the Capitol
  • March 27: 10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Olmstead on the Penn State Harrisburg campus

PGCB Director of Communications, Doug Harbach, told PlayPennsylania the PGCB is focusing on the following initiatives:

  • Information on how to gamble responsibly
  • Detection of a gambling problem
  • Options for treatment
  • How to take advantage of the PGCB’s self-exclusion programs

CCPG Executive Director, Josh Ercole, also told PlayPennsylvania that the CCPG has a similar plan for the two scheduled events. He explained the significance of it, as well:

“Events like this are important for a number of reasons. In addition to sharing information and raising awareness, it also gives us an opportunity to highlight some of the collaborative efforts that have been made to address problem gambling in Pennsylvania.”

While the PGCB, PA Lottery, DDAP and CCPG have different roles, each entity cares about responsible gambling and will continue to collaborate to enforce the message.

‘Knowledge is power’ when it comes to responsible gaming in PA

Gambling has become more accessible than ever before in the Keystone State, which is one of the most robust markets in the US. The state offers 21 online casinos, 13 online sportsbooks and 17 retail casinos.

The PGCB and DDAP publish an annual problem gambling report. Last year’s provided the following findings:

  • Approximately 16% of adult Pennsylvanians engaged in some form of online gambling last year
  • The most popular form of online gaming is sports betting
  • Those who gamble both online and offline tend to gamble more and are more likely to exhibit problem gambling behaviors, followed by online-exclusive gamblers, and then offline-exclusive gamblers

Sometimes, bettors might even know they are suffering from problem gambling, which is why one of the PGCB’s main initiatives is detection. DDAP Deputy Secretary, Kelly Primus, said in the press release:

“Knowledge is power. I encourage all Pennsylvanians to learn about the signs of problem gambling and to use that knowledge to help spread the message that treatment and resources are available. As we see with substance use disorders, the same holds true with problem gambling. With the right treatment and support for problem gambling, recovery is not only possible, but also probable.”

While every single day is crucial for responsible gambling efforts, the topic gets even more publicity in March.

PGCB Director for the Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling, Liz Lanza, explained to PlayPennsylvania there are ways to control and come back from gambling issues:

“It is imperative to inform the public that gambling disorder is a preventable and treatable disease, and resources are available throughout our Commonwealth. From problem gambling prevention tools to recovery programs, there are systems in place that protect and assist the citizens of PA in their time of need.”

Photo by
Corey Sharp Avatar
Written by
Corey Sharp

Corey Sharp is the Lead Writer at PlayPennsylvania bringing you comprehensive coverage of sports betting and gambling in Pennsylvania. Corey is a 4-for-4 Philly sports fan and previously worked as a writer and editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Sports Philadelphia.

View all posts by Corey Sharp
Privacy Policy