March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), in collaboration with the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), recognizes March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM).

Throughout March, a wide range of stakeholders, including public health organizations, prevention and treatment providers, advocacy groups and gambling operators work collaboratively to let people know that hope and help exist for problem gambling. Groups nationwide will hold conferences, air Public Service Announcements, provide counselor training, host health screening days and implement social media campaigns to increase public awareness of problem gambling and the availability of prevention, treatment and recovery services.

The PGAM theme for this year is “Awareness +Action” and participants are encouraged to use the hashtag #PGAM2022 on social media platforms.

Problem gambling is defined as all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family or vocational pursuits. Approximately 2 million U.S. adults (1% of the population) are estimated to meet criteria for severe problem gambling. Another 4-6 million (2-3%) meet the criteria for mild or moderate problem gambling.

The Office of Problem Gambling at IDPH raises awareness about the availability of gambling prevention and treatment services offered statewide. “Iowans who are impacted by problem gambling are encouraged to visit Your Life Iowa to learn more or to connect with a qualified professional. Help and hope are only a call, text, or chat away,” said Katie Bee, Project Director of the Office of Problem Gambling at the Iowa Department of Public Health.

If you have questions you’d like answered, support and assistance is available through Live Chat, by calling 1-800-BETS OFF, or by texting (855) 895-8398.