The Oregon Lottery is helping to raise public awareness for National Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM) this March.
The theme for 2021’s PGAM is ‘Awareness + Action,’ supporting action and having dialogues about problem gambling issues as well as guiding people to the help they may require.
Using the tagline #AwarenessPlusAction, the national campaign, which is in its eighteenth year, strives to increase public awareness of problem gambling and the availability of prevention, treatment and recovery services.
A toolkit guide, graphics downloads, and additional information and resources are available to PGAM participants on the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) website.
Executive Director of the Oregon Council on Problem Gambling Julie Hynes said: “Problem Gambling Awareness Month is always important to us, as we highlight a ‘hidden’ addiction that millions of Americans face, including one in every 38 Oregon adults.
“This year, we bring special attention to problem gambling, given the stress, isolation and financial uncertainty of so many Oregonians throughout the pandemic. Some can be tempted to seek hope through jackpots and escape from everyday problems via other gambling options.
“More widespread legalised online betting, day trading, and even video gaming apps have caused harm for more people this year. We want people to know that they’re not alone and that there is effective, free and confidential help available for them as well as their loved ones.”
People in the state of Oregon who are looking for help with a gambling issue can visit the Oregon Problem Gambling Resource website (www.opgr.org) or call 1-877-MYLIMIT.
The North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL) also recently announced it is again partnering with the NCPG to provide educational resources and training to members, retailers and players in recognition of PGAM.
Oregon Lottery Senior Manager Product Market and NCPG Board of Directors Officer Stacy Shaw added: “Creating awareness of problem gambling and available resources is a statewide commitment that is reflected in the official proclamation that Oregon Lottery and the Oregon Health Authority worked with the Governor’s office to develop.
“It’s great that people are seeking information and we hope that the conversation and action continues to grow this year. We’re proud to be in a state that has a robust system of prevention through treatment services that are free to anyone concerned about gambling problems, and we want people to know that they don’t have to worry about seeking help.
“This year we are focusing on letting people know that in Oregon treatment is really free, a message that’s important to people struggling with gambling issues.”
The lottery’s commitment to problem gambling support is year-round. Since 1992, 1% of its profits has funded problem gambling treatment and prevention efforts, resulting in over $100m in lottery funds being raised to support those services over that period.