Pennsylvania launches ‘Every Story Matters’ to raise problem gambling awareness

February 27, 2024
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The program will coincide with National Problem Gambling Awareness Month.

Several Pennsylvania organizations have teamed up to raise public awareness regarding problem gambling to kick off next month’s National Problem Gambling Awareness Month.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania (CCGP), Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), Pennsylvania Lottery and an individual in long-term recovery are working together on the project.

PGCB Director of Compulsive and Problem Gambling Elizabeth Lanza said, “Since the expansion of gaming to include online gambling and sports wagering, there is greater access to gambling which in turn increases the number of individuals who may develop a gambling disorder.

“Therefore, the PGCB has not only implemented additional self-exclusion avenues. We have implemented a robust online self-exclusion program system that provides individuals 24/7 access to enroll in the Board’s voluntary self-exclusion programs.

"We also require operators to offer all online players the ability to gamble within their means by setting their own time or spending limits to promote responsible gaming practices.”

“Every Story Matters” is the theme for this year’s National Problem Gambling Awareness Month, which is celebrating its 21-year anniversary. This year, the focus will be on educating the public on treatment and recovery services, as well as encouraging healthcare providers to screen for problem gambling when treating their clients.

DDAP Deputy Secretary Kelly Primus explained the importance of offering resources to the public and raising awareness.

She commented, “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.”

Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania Executive Director Josh Ercole noted that knowing the warning signs of problem gambling can aid those who might need additional help to reach out.

He said, “While most people won’t experience problems with gambling, some will. Being aware of possible warning signs and knowing where to turn for assistance is so important. In Pennsylvania, help is just a call away.”


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