P.O. Box 105812 Jefferson City, MO 65110; 888betsoff.org
Dec. 18, 2017
Contact: Connor Stieferman
New Look Accompanies Alliance’s 20th Anniversary
Yesterday marked 20 years since the Missouri Alliance to Curb Problem Gambling was formed. At the time of its creation, the Alliance was the first of its kind coalition in the United States focusing on building awareness for problem gambling issues, encouraging responsible gaming, preventing underage play, and establishing treatment programs for Missouri residents.
While still in its infancy, the Alliance was instrumental in securing the passage of Senate Bill 902, which provided dedicated funding for problem gambling treatment in the state of Missouri. Thereafter, the 1-888-BETSOFF (1-888-238-7633) service was created, which connects problem gamblers and their loved ones to free help.
“Since the Bets Off program started, more than 40,000 calls have been placed through the helpline, and more than 45,000 referrals have been made for free help,” said Susan Goedde, communications manager for the Missouri Lottery and current Alliance chairperson. “To commemorate the Alliance’s 20th anniversary, we are introducing an updated awareness campaign for the Bets Off program.”
The new “Don’t Let Problem Gambling Break You” campaign will be disseminated through billboards and public service announcements. Brochures, posters and other supplies will also be made available at all casino locations and Missouri Lottery retail locations, among other sites, throughout the state.
“The overwhelming majority of residents who gamble do so responsibly. However, as is common with many aspects of life, some people have a difficult time with moderation,” said Goedde. “In fact, recent research shows that roughly 1 percent of Missouri residents who gamble qualify as having a gambling problem. Our goal with this campaign is to encourage those people and their loved ones to make the call.”
Goedde said callers can learn about the free resources available to them, including free treatment, counseling, Gamblers Anonymous and self-exclusion lists.
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.