FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 28th, 2020

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

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

CONTACT

Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey (717) 346-8321

PA Gaming Control Board Launches New Problem Gambling Website

as Kickoff to Problem Gambling Awareness Month

HARRISBURG, PA: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) is recognizing March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month in order to promote resources intended to help individuals with a gambling problem.

As part of the agency’s efforts to raise awareness of problem and compulsive gambling and provide both professionals and individuals with information, the PGCB has launched an updated user-friendly website that provides information on how to recognize the warning signs of a gambling problem and to find treatment options that are available in Pennsylvania.

Elizabeth Lanza, Director of the PGCB’s Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling says that while the agency recognizes that most individuals can gamble in a safe, responsible manner, not all are able to control their gambling behavior.

“Gambling addiction is real, is preventable and is treatable, and the PGCB and its partners want all PA citizens who face the perils of problem gambling to know that treatment is available and effective,” says Lanza.  “This includes the launch of a new website with easy-to-find information on detecting a gambling problem along with various avenues available for help.”

Lanza says the new website address is www.ResponsiblePlay.pa.gov and can also be accessed via a link on the homepage of the PGCB’s website.  She adds that for information on problem gambling treatment and other resources, individuals can also call 1-800-GAMBLER.

During Problem Gambling Awareness Month, staff with the PGCB’s Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling along with their partners, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, the Pennsylvania Lottery and the Council on Compulsive and Problem Gambling, will be available at the following events:

·         March 3rd at the Problem Gambling Awareness Month Kickoff Event in the 1st floor atrium of Strawberry Square from 11:00am to 1:00 pm.

·         March 4th in the 1st floor atrium of Strawberry Square from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm;

·         March 5th at The Council on Compulsive Gambling of PA’s East Conference in Trevose;

·         March 11th, 18th and 25th in the Capitol Building mini-rotunda in Harrisburg from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm;

·         March 12th at The Council on Compulsive Gambling of PA’s West Conference in Pittsburgh.

Gaming Control Board Executive Director Kevin F. O’Toole says the agency’s role in protecting the interests of the public has included efforts to make sure individuals know about the help available before the problem develops. He notes that with the passing of Act 42 of 2017, which increases gambling activities beyond land-based casinos, the legislature wisely continued to increase gambling treatment and prevention dollars to ensure the new types of legalized gambling contribute to the Compulsive and Problem Gambling Treatment Fund. 


“Our agency has made outreach for individuals with gambling disorders a priority since the opening of the first casinos in Pennsylvania over 13 years ago,” said O’Toole.  “As new forms of gaming were rolled out over the past year, the PGCB made sure that new tools and resources, including online self-imposed limits and responsible gambling pages are available through each iGaming site to assist individuals in gambling responsibly.”

About the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of gambling legalized under 2004’s Race Horse Development and Gaming Act and the Gaming Expansion Act of 2017. In addition to slot machine and table games gambling at land-based casinos, the expansion includes online casino games available to date on seven sites; sports wagering offered through sportsbooks at 12 locations and through eight online outlets; video gaming terminals (VGTs) offered at 25 qualified truck stops; and, fantasy sports contests through eight providers.

The mature land-based casino industry in Pennsylvania currently consists of 10 stand-alone and racetrack casinos in operation, along with the two smaller resort casinos.  Construction of a 13th casino is currently underway along with a number of new “mini-casinos” that are expected to begin operation over the next couple of years. These facilities collectively employ over 16,000 people and gaming regulated by the PGCB generates over $1.5 billion annually in tax revenue.

Additional information about both the PGCB’s gaming regulatory efforts and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at https://gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov . You can also follow the agency on Twitter by choosing @PAGamingControl.