Pennsylvania is stepping up its efforts to tackle problem gambling – even before the numbers suggest there is a problem to begin with. A new website, www.ResopnsiblePlay.pa.gov, has launched to assist people who might suffer from problem gambling or are at a risk of a developing the disorder.
The website runs an exhaustive questionnaire that is designed to help players and readers diagnose themselves or their loved ones. Far more importantly, the website is designed to offer treatment options to residents of Pennsylvania.
Addressing Problem Gambling in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has launched the website ahead of the Problem Gambling Awareness Month this March in a bid to address potential issues with the mass legalization of online gambling in the Keystone State. In 2019, PGCB decided that March will be an official month for boosting awareness of what the regulator recognizes as a health issue.
With 1-800-GAMBLER still available to call to if you feel the need, the website takes protecting residents from coming in the way of gambling harm to a new level, offering vital information on matters such as:
- Self-exclusion and how to sign up for self-exclusion
- Problem gambling and early symptoms
- Why responsible gambling matters and helps
- A quick way to connect with 1-800-GAMBLER support agent
According to Elizabeth Lanza, head at PGCB’s Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling, residents should know about problem gambling, but equally importantly – know that treatment options are available.
Gambling Addiction Is Real, Do Not Ignore It
Lanza has also called for an official acknowledgement of the problem in an official press release. “It’s real,” the statement said but treatment is both available and effective. The U.S. market is only now opening up with mass legalization occasioning a rapid growth.
With funds allocated to tackling the potential rise of gambling addiction, regulators have to stay wary of the problem slipping unnoticed for a while. The PGCB is setting a good example how regulators can get ahead of the game, too.
To substantiate these efforts with facts, the organization will hold several events dedicated to discussing the potential issues stemming from excessive gambling. Anyone interest could attend during on the following dates:
- Tuesday, March 3: Problem Gambling Awareness Month begins at Strawberry Square – 11 AM to 1 PM
- Wednesday, March 4: Strawberry Square – 11 AM to1 PM
- Thursday, March 5: The Council on Compulsive Gambling East Conference, Trevose
- March 11, 18, 25: The Capitol – 11 AM to 1 PM
- Thursday, March 12: Council on Compulsive Gambling West Conference in Pittsburg
To finance most operations, the PGCB is tapping into the Compulsive and Problem Gambling Treatment Fund specifically set-up for the purposes of addressing any negative consequences of gambling.
A lot remains to be addressed though, including establishing the actual number of gambling addicts in the Keystone State. As of now, the PGCB and its gambling assistance arm are focusing on getting ahead of events.
Soon enough, however, they will need to see to address specific data with all its ups and downs. Kevin F. O’Toole, head of the PGCB, has commented that the launch of new online gambling has prompted the arrival of new smart tools to address potential issues.