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Gaming Guru

 

Problem Gambling Awareness Week

19 March 2003

Last week, March 10-17, 2003, the National Council on Problem Gaming and the Association of Problem Gaming Service Administrators held its first annual National Problem Gambling Awareness Week. The purpose of the event is to increase public awareness and educate health care providers about problem gambling while also emphasizing the treatment and support options available to those who experience problems associated with gambling behaviors. This initiative will also be a celebration of the men and women who are overcoming problems associated with their gambling behavior.

Participants in this year's National Problem Gambling Awareness Week included over 50 federal and state agencies, health care providers, the gaming industry itself, and non-gaming public welfare groups, including the United Way. This event marked the first time that communities nationwide worked together to raise awareness of the consequences of problem gambling and the resources available for those whose gambling is causing disruption in their lives. The event sponsors stressed the fact that treatment for disordered gambling is not only available, but is also effective in improving the lives of problem gamblers and their families.

In order to increase the public's awareness of problem gambling, the event will include a kick off press conference at Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C. In order to educate health care providers about problem gambling, the sponsors distributed screening packets and asked health care providers to screen all of their clients during the week and have the providers summarize and/or fax back the completed forms for research and evaluation.

Not coincidentally, this year's event will take place during the opening rounds of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball tournament, which is one of the biggest betting events of the year. However, lost in the widespread hype of "March Madness" is the fact that betting on sports remains illegal in 49 states. While much of the national debate focuses on the expansion of legal gambling into new states, it is important to note that illegal sports gambling is already widespread. According to the recent studies, individuals with gambling problems are also more likely to participate in such illegal wagers.

For more information on "National Problem Gambling Awareness Week," call the National Council on Problem Gaming at (202) 547-9204, or check out the following websites: www.ncpgambling.org or www.apgsa.org. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call (800) 522-4700 for confidential help, 24 hours a day.

David Waddell
David Waddell is an attorney for Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C. (RMC), which assists businesses in navigating the legislative, regulatory and licensing systems governing Michigan’s commercial and tribal casino industries. He is the co-author of The State of Michigan Gaming Law Legal Resource Book and one of the founders of The Michigan Gaming Newsletter.

David Waddell Websites:

www.michigangaming.com
David Waddell
David Waddell is an attorney for Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C. (RMC), which assists businesses in navigating the legislative, regulatory and licensing systems governing Michigan’s commercial and tribal casino industries. He is the co-author of The State of Michigan Gaming Law Legal Resource Book and one of the founders of The Michigan Gaming Newsletter.

David Waddell Websites:

www.michigangaming.com