PGCB Strengthens Support For Preventing And Treating Problem Gambling In PA

Posted on February 28, 2020

1-800-Gambler has another ally.

A new website, www.ResponsiblePlay.pa.gov, provides information on how to recognize the warning signs of a gambling problem and to find available treatment options in Pennsylvania.

The website launched as part of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s (PGCB) efforts for Problem Gambling Awareness Month in March.

Website has help for problem gambling

The updated, user-friendly website can also be accessed via a link on the homepage of the PGCB’s website. 1-800-GAMBLER is not going anywhere and you can still call for information on problem gambling treatment and other resources.

Some things visitors can do and see at www.ResponsiblePlay.pa.gov include:

  • Learn about types of self-exclusion.
  • Sign up for self-exclusion.
  • Learn signs of problem gambling.
  • Understand the rules of responsible gaming.
  • Chat online with a 1-800-GAMBLER helpline specialist.

The PGCB recognizes that most people can play responsibly, but some are unable to control their gambling behavior. Elizabeth Lanza, the director of the PGCB’s Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling, said in a press release:

“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. 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.”

Problem Gaming Awareness Month in PA

The National Council on Problem Gambling dedicates the month of March to help people affected by problem gambling. In addition to the website, throughout Problem Gambling Awareness Month, events will be held throughout Pennsylvania to raise awareness.

  • Tuesday, March 3: The Problem Gambling Awareness Month kickoff event, held on the first-floor atrium of Strawberry Square from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 4:  On the first-floor atrium of Strawberry Square from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 5: The Council on Compulsive Gambling of PA’s East Conference in Trevose
  • March 11, 18 and 25: The Capitol Building mini-rotunda in Harrisburg from 11 a.m to 1 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 12: At the Council on Compulsive Gambling of PA’s West Conference in Pittsburgh.

PGCB’s Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling staff, along with its partners, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, the Pennsylvania Lottery and the Council on Compulsive and Problem Gambling will be available at the events.

Gaming expansion in PA

In 2019, online sports betting and iGaming came to Pennsylvania. With options beyond brick-and-mortar casinos, the PA legislature increased gambling treatment and prevention funding. The additional funds come from the new types of legalized gambling and contribute to the Compulsive and Problem Gambling Treatment Fund.

Protecting the interests of the public and educating individuals about available help before a problem develops is a key role of the PGCB. Executive Director Kevin F. O’Toole commented:

“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. 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.”

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Katie Kohler

Katie Kohler is a Philadelphia-area based award-winning journalist. She covers the Pennsylvania gambling industry with an emphasis on sports betting, online casino/poker and the lottery.

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