HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is joining with the Pennsylvania Lottery, Horse Racing Commission, Harness Racing Commission and the Department of Health to support National Problem Gambling Awareness Week and to announce efforts to increase public awareness of the availability and benefits of problem gambling treatment. The goal is to educate the public and health care providers about problem gambling warning signs and where to call for help.
During the week of March 5-11, 2007, communities nationwide will be 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. National Problem Gambling Awareness Week is also a celebration of the men and women who are overcoming problems associated with their gambling behavior.
“The efforts in Pennsylvania are geared toward educating the public about the effects of problem gambling, providing tools necessary to identify the problem and identifying access to professional services that help minimize the consequences of problem gambling” says Nanette Horner, the PGCB’s Director of Compulsive and Problem Gambling. “We join with other organizations to promote an environment in which treatment of gambling problems is recognized as a specialized field of expertise and while the professionals trained to assist problem gamblers are recognized for their unique knowledge, skills and abilities.”
Horner says that materials have been created and will be posted on various state agency websites to highlight warning signs of problem gambling and provide information on the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania’s toll-free helpline (1-800-848-1880) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s toll-free information line (1-877-565-2112).
The PGCB will also be posting on its web site the Governor’s Proclamation declaring March 5-11, 2007 as Problem Gambling Awareness Week in Pennsylvania. The website address is www.pgcb.state.pa.us.
The PGCB, Pennsylvania Lottery, Horse Racing Commission, Harness Racing
Commission and the Health Department’s Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Programs
will also have displays and information available at Strawberry Square on
March 5th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Strawberry Square is located along Walnut
Street in Harrisburg.