Missouri Alliance Members Join National Awareness Effort
For the 13th year, the Missouri Alliance to Curb Problem Gambling and its members are joining the National Problem Gambling Awareness Month campaign in March. The national campaign, recognized by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), aims to increase the public’s awareness of problem gambling while encouraging anyone who knows someone that might be suffering from gambling addiction to “Have the Conversation.”
“Because of the 1-888-BETSOFF program, Missouri residents and their loved ones have access to free help and treatment within their home state. All they have to do is take the step to contact the service,” said Jennifer Wilbers, chair of the Missouri Alliance and assistant deputy director of administration for the Missouri Gaming Commission.
According to the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) conducted by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, less than 1 percent of Missourians who gamble are considered problem gamblers. These individuals, their loved ones, or anyone else who think they might have a gambling problem are encouraged to contact 1-888-BETSOFF (1-888-238-7633) to access free resources and help from licensed professionals.
“The Bets Off service and this awareness month are testaments to the Missouri Alliance and how the whole can be better than its parts,” said Wilbers. “Between our member organizations, we fund, publicize and oversee treatment options for the Bets Off program, which is used more than 1,600 times annually by those who need the service.”
To support the national campaign, the Missouri Alliance has arranged for a series of TV and radio public service announcements (PSAs) to air across the state throughout the month of March. Those TV PSAs can be found here:
To access free help from licensed professionals, please call 1-888-BETSOFF (1-888-238-7633), email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit 888betsoff.org. The Missouri Gaming Commission and the Missouri Lottery both offer their own voluntary, self-exclusion lists for problem gamblers. More information about problem gambling concerns and responsible gaming can be found at 888betsoff.org, ncpgambling.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 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.