HARRISBURG, Pa., March 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Recognizing the effects problem gambling can have on people, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board passed a resolution recognizing March as "Problem Gambling Awareness Month" and encouraged all citizens to learn more about the signs of problem gambling and to help spread the message about the availability of treatment.
"The PA Gaming Control Board's Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling was created in 2006 to educate the public about the effects of problem gambling, to provide the tools necessary to identify the disorder, and to guide individuals to professional services that help them regain control of their lives," said William H. Ryan Jr., Chairman of the Gaming Control Board.
"Problem gambling is an issue that can affect Pennsylvanians of any age, race and ethnic background and can have significant societal and economic cost," said Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Director of the Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling, Elizabeth Lanza. "The goal of 'National Problem Gambling Awareness Month' is to educate the general public and health care professionals about the warning signs of problem gambling and raise awareness about the help that is available both locally and nationally."
Toward that goal, the Gaming Control Board in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol will be setting up a booth to raise awareness of problem gambling and available resources at the following locations on:
- March 5 and 6; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Strawberry Square Atrium, Harrisburg
- March 19 and 20; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Capitol Rotunda, Harrisburg
Additionally, two conferences related to problem gambling will be held in March, led by the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania with sponsorship from the Pennsylvania Lottery, Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic.
The first conference, "A New Look: Innovative Approaches to Prevention, Treatment and Other Resources," will be held March 11 in Trevose. The second conference, "Explorations: New Ways of Addressing Gambling Disorder," is slated for March 14 in Pittsburgh. For more information on these events, visit the Council on Compulsive Gambling online at www.pacouncil.com.
The Gaming Control Board also makes educational information available on its website www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov. The information can be easily accessed by clicking on the "National Problem Gambling Awareness Month" logo on the home page. This includes printable handouts on a wide variety of topics including:
- signs and symptoms of problem gambling
- older adults and problem gambling
- problem gambling in the work place
- remote gambling
- student athletes and gambling
- teens and gambling
- sports betting, and
- other addictions such as smoking and drinking as they relate to gambling.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board encourages anyone who thinks they may have a gambling problem to seek help and consider taking advantage of the voluntary Self-Exclusion Program. This program permits an individual to request voluntary exclusion from all gaming activities at all licensed slot machine facilities within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for one year, five years or a lifetime.
Since the introduction of the Self-Exclusion Program in late 2006, over 6,500 requests have been made for voluntary exclusion to help those individuals with gambling problems to refrain from gambling in PA casinos. Once a person is placed on the list, licensed Pennsylvania gaming facilities must:
- Refuse wagers from and deny any gaming privileges to a self-excluded person.
- Deny check cashing privileges, player club membership, complementary goods and services, junket participation and other similar privileges and benefits to a self-excluded person.
- Ensure that self-excluded persons do not receive junket solicitations, targeted mailings, telemarketing promotions, player club materials or other promotional materials relating to gaming activities at its licensed facility.
- Notify the Pennsylvania State Police of violations of the ban. A self-excluded individual who violates the ban will be subject to arrest and charged with trespass.
To seek confidential help for yourself or a loved one, visit www.paproblemgambling.com or call 1-877-565-2112 or 1-800-848-1880.
About the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board:
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was established in 2004 with the passage of Act 71, also known as the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act. Pennsylvania's first new state agency in nearly 30 years, the Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of the state's casino industry. The 12 casinos in operation all offer both slot machine and table game gambling, employ over 16,000 people, and collectively generate an average of $4 million per day in tax revenue. A portion of that money is used for property tax reduction to all Pennsylvania homeowners; provide funds to the Commonwealth's horse racing industry, fire companies, a statewide water and sewer project grant program, and the state's General Fund; and, established a new stream of tax revenue to local governments that host casinos for community projects.
A wealth of information about the Gaming Control Board's regulatory efforts and Pennsylvania's gaming industry can be found at www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov. At this website, visitors can watch Board meetings live or view videos of past meetings, look up future meeting schedules and past meeting transcripts, obtain information on identifying a gambling problem and gaining assistance, access an interactive map of casino locations, request a speaker for their group, along with much more information. You can also follow the agency on Twitter by choosing @PAGamingControl.
CONTACT: Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey
SOURCE Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board