Twelve years ago this August, Missouri became the first state to designate a month as a Responsible Gaming Education Month. Each year, the Missouri Alliance to Curb Problem Gambling and its member organizations implement specific communication strategies during the month of August in order to raise the public’s awareness about problem gambling and responsible gaming.
Mark Rembecki, the Alliance’s current chairperson, is proud to announce the release of a series of new public service announcements during Responsible Gaming Education Month.
“Many times, the person who is suffering from a gambling addiction isn’t the only one affected. These new radio and TV public service announcements focus on the individual family members of someone who is experiencing addiction,” described Rembecki.
Often characterized as the “silent addiction,” gambling addiction can go unrecognized or untreated for many years. This can cause a variety of problems ranging from financial strain to mental stress, among other personal concerns.
“Our goal with these public service announcements is to reach out to those closest to a problem gambler – their family – and give them the confidence and information to begin the recovery process. By contacting the ‘Bets Off’ services, loved ones can be connected to professional free help that can really make a difference in their lives,” continued Rembecki.
Missouri Alliance to Curb Problem Gambling News Release, page 2
Problem gamblers and their loved ones can be connected to free help by calling 1-888-BETSOFF (1-888-238-7633), emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting 888betsoff.org. The Missouri Gaming Commission and the Missouri Lottery both offer their own exclusion programs for problem gamblers, as well. More information about problem gambling concerns and responsible gaming can be found at 888betsoff.org and gamblersanonymous.org.
About the Missouri Alliance to Curb Problem Gambling (888betsoff.org)
The Missouri Alliance to Curb Problem Gambling, which was created in 1997, is a partnership between the Missouri Lottery, Missouri Council on Problem Gambling Concerns, Inc., Missouri Department of Mental Health’s Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Missouri Gaming Association, Missouri Gaming Commission, Port Authority of Kansas City and a recovery community representative. The purpose of the Alliance is to educate Missourians on the potential characteristics and dangers of problem and compulsive gambling, to refer compulsive gamblers and their family and friends to free treatment through a toll-free help line, to prevent underage play and to promote responsible gaming.