March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month
March 4, 2014 – March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month, and LotteryHUB wants to help spread awareness about problem gambling so players can stay better informed, play more responsibly and keep having fun.
The National Council on Problem Gambling defines problem gambling as “gambling behavior which causes disruptions in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social or vocational.”
They define gambling as any activity where money or something of value is risked on a chance, and according to the Council’s statistics, between 6 and 8 million Americans have felt the negative affects of problem gambling on finances, family or work.
Gambling is a big part of our culture, though. Horse-racing, casinos, cards with friends and of course, the lottery. While all of these games have their place and indeed have a place in America’s cultural heritage, playing responsibly and within one’s own limits is key to ensure that games of chance remain a form of entertainment – not something you feel you have to do.
The National Council on Problem Gambling listed some common indicators of problem gambling in a press release announcing the beginning of Problem Gambling Awareness month:
- Lying to loved ones about gambling activity
- Deterioration of work performance
- Trouble concentrating
- Missing deadlines and important responsibilities
- Worry about mounting debts and inability to pay them.
If you or someone you know is struggling with problem gambling or exhibiting some of these signs of a gambling problem, Problem Gambling Awareness month is the time to talk to them about getting some help.
There are services available all over the country, as well as free and confidential hotlines that people struggling with problem gambling can call.
The National Problem Gambling Helpline Network is a 24/7 service that can be reached at 1-800-522-4700. According to a press release from the National Council on Problem Gambling, calls to the helpline are “free and confidential.”
And, for those struggling with problem gambling, it is important to remember that taking advantage of problem gambling resources can really help.
“Gambling is an addiction, but it is a treatable addiction,” said Jeffrey Beck, the assistant director of clinical services, treatment and research for the New Jersey Council on Compulsive Gambling.
For more information on problem gambling, to find a counselor or to take advantage of other services, head to the National Council on Problem Gambling’s website, www.ncpgambling.org