FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 7th, 2008

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
P.O. Box 69060
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9060

CONTACT

Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey (717) 346-8321

PGCB Participates In National Problem Gambling Awareness Week

HARRISBURG: Recognizing the effects problem gambling can have on citizens, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is actively promoting National Problem Gambling Awareness Week, March 9 through 15, 2008 with outreach efforts and helpful information.

In addition, Governor Rendell, the House and Senate of Pennsylvania, the Gaming Control Board and the Secretaries of Agriculture, Health and Revenue have all proclaimed that week as “Problem Gambling Awareness Week” in the Commonwealth.

“Problem gambling is an issue that can affect Pennsylvanians of any age, race and ethnic background and can have significant societal and economic cost,” said Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Chairman Mary DiGiacomo Colins. “We recognized that early and the Board became only the second jurisdiction in the nation to establish an Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling (OCPG) to address these issues.”

The Director of that office, Nanette Horner, said the goal of “National Problem Gambling Awareness Week” is to educate the general public and health care professionals about the warning signs of problem gambling and raise awareness about the help that is available both locally and nationally.

"For some gamblers, gambling is not simply a recreational activity; it can lead to debilitating problems that create negative consequences for the gambler and his family," Horner explains. "We want people to know that gambling addiction is serious, and treatment is available."

Toward that goal, the Gaming Control Board will have a display with information about problem gambling in Strawberry Square on Walnut Street in Harrisburg on March 11, 2007 from 11:00-2:00, and in the East Wing Rotunda of the Capitol on March 13, 2007 from 10:30-1:30. The Pennsylvania Lottery, Horse Racing Commission, Harness Racing Commission, Department of Health and the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania (CCGP) will also have information available at this display.

The Gaming Control Board will also make educational information available on its website, www.pgcb.state.pa.us. The information can be easily accessed by clicking on the National Problem Gambling Awareness Week logo on the home page. This includes printable handouts on a wide variety of topics including:

  • Signs and symptoms of problem gambling
  • Older adults and problem gambling
  • Problem gambling in the work place
  • Remote gambling
  • Student athletes and gambling
  • Teens and gambling
  • Sports betting, and
  • Other addictions such as smoking and drinking as they relate to gambling.

There is also a link to the “Luck’s No Lady” audio broadcast created by Connecticut Public Radio featuring women, including wives, grandmothers and professionals, who are pathological gamblers and live every day in recovery.

Links are provided to websites for the Department of Health’s Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Programs, Gamblers Anonymous and GAM-ANON meeting schedules, the CCGP, and the National Council on Problem Gambling.

For more information and a list of National Problem Gambling Awareness Week activities, go to www.npgaw.org.