March 17-21 marks the third week of the National Council on Problem Gambling’s (NCPG) National Problem Gambling Awareness Month (NPGAM). The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness about problem gambling and resources available for help.
According to Keith Whyte, NCPG executive director, responsible gaming is essential, ethical, and economical for both individuals and gaming industry. Whyte states, “Responsible gaming is the obligation of gambling operators—including lotteries, casinos, and racetracks—to minimize individual and community harm through a formal internal responsible gaming program and support for external problem gambling services." NCPG calls on all who operate or profit from gambling to dedicate at least one percent of their gambling revenue to responsible gaming programs.
NCPG also strongly recommends individuals who choose to gamble to do so responsibly by taking steps to protect themselves including:
•Setting and sticking to limits of time and money spent gambling
•Not gambling to relieve feelings of loneliness or depression
•Not gambling to chase a loss
•Expecting to lose money over time
•Not gambling with money that is designated for other obligations
•Balancing gambling with other life activities
Anyone who gambles is at risk of developing problems. Gambling addiction is a serious public issue and help is available. If you or a loved one is experiencing a problem with gambling, please call the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network at 1-800-522-4700. Calls are free and confidential.
The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) is the national advocate for programs and services to assist problem gamblers and their families. NCPG was founded in 1972 and is neutral on legalized gambling. For more information, please visit http://www.ncpgambling.org. For more information about National Problem Gambling Awareness Month, visit http://www.npgam.org.