Indiana University Bloomington

Indiana Prevention Resource Center (IPRC)

National Problem Gambling Awareness Week

The Eighth Annual National Problem Gambling Awareness Week will take place March 7 - 13, 2010. This initiative seeks to increase public and professional awareness of problem gambling issues and availability of services to assist those affected by problem gambling. This is a national effort to spread the word that there is help for problem gambling and their families.

During the week of March 7 - 13, communities nationwide are working to raise awareness of the consequences of problem gambling and the resources available for individuals whose gambling is causing disruption in their lives. Treatment for problem gambling is not only available, but is also effective in improving the lives of problem gamblers and their families. This initiative is also a celebration of the men and women who are overcoming problems associated with their gambling behavior.

Some events taking place in Indiana include:

  • Youth Symposium
  • Financial Counseling
  • Trauma Training
  • Billboard Campaign

For more information on each of these events, please visit the events section of this website or www.ipgap.indiana.edu.

According to Mary Lay, Research Associate and Project Manager of the Indiana Problem Gambling Awareness Program "A primary focus of this effort is to promote the fact that treatment works and is available in Indiana. In order to make a positive impact in the community, we need to be sure that the individuals and families that are in need of our services are available to access them,"

Materials are available including posters and brochures which highlight warning signs and provide the Indiana help line at 1-800-994-8448.  Throughout the year behavioral health and treatment provider trainings are available as well as continuing education courses.

Across the United States, legalized gambling is available in some format in 48 states. Approximately 85% of U.S. adults have gambled at least once in their lives; 60% in the past year. The State of Indiana has the Hoosier Lottery, Horse Track Racing, Off Track Horse Betting Parlors, Casinos, Charity Gaming, and Racinos (race track casinos). Approximately 2 million (1%) of U.S. adults are estimated to meet criteria for pathological gambling in a given year. Another 4-6 million (2-3%) would be considered problem gamblers; that is, they do not meet the full diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling, but meet one of more of the criteria and are experiencing problems due to their gambling behavior.

It is important to recognize that most people can gamble without negative consequences. A small percentage, however, of persons who gamble suffer enormous social, economic, and psychological implications. Individuals, families and communities all suffer from problem gambling.

For more information about Problem Gambling prevention, treatment, and resources visit:
Indiana Problem Gambling Awareness Program: http://www.ipgap.indiana.edu
Indiana Council on Problem Gambling: http://www.indianaproblemgambling.org

The Indiana Problem Gambling Awareness Program (IPGAP) is funded by a contract with the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Division of Mental Health and Addictionwith funds through the Indiana Problem Gamblers' Assistance Fund.

By Desiree Reynolds,   3/8/2010