The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board named March as the Problem Gambling Awareness Month. The agency wants to promote resources that can assist persons addicted to gambling. In addition, it wants to improve awareness of the issue.
Throughout the month of March, the agency will provide information about the issue. They will hold several events in various cities in the state. Director Elizabeth Lanza of the PGCB said problem gambling affects residents of any race, ethnic background, and age. In addition, the problem has significant economic and societal costs.
The PGCB also has a toll-free hotline, 1-800-GAMBLER, that’s available 24 hours a day. In addition, the agency has a self-exclusion program to help individuals avoid temptations of gambling.
Problem Gambling Awareness Month
In 2006, the PGCB created the Pennsylvania Self-Exclusion Program. It allows a person to request to be banned from gambling or entering a casino in the state. As a result, gambling facilities will refuse bets made by people part of the self-exclusion list.
In addition, people in the self-exclusion list don’t have access to player club membership, junket participation, check cashing privileges, and sportsbook software. Once a person enters a casino while part of the list, one can be charged with criminal trespass.
According to gambling industry reports, the role of the agency is to protect the interests of the consumers. It ensures people get support before the problem becomes too big to handle. In fact, the state increased funding to gambling prevention and treatment in 2017. That was the year the state legalizing gambling activities outside of casinos.
The agency makes sure that their outreach programs get top priority after the opening of the first casinos in the state. With the expansion of gambling outside of casinos, the PGCB makes sure that players have tools to help to limit their time or money spent on gambling.