Problem Gambling Awareness Month ended in March. Our commitment to shining a light on the issue didn’t. That’s why, in April, we’re taking the opportunity to remind everyone what makes problem gambling so damaging and how we can all help address the issue in our communities.
By the Numbers
It’s sometimes called “the invisible addiction.” But the negative effects of problem gambling are clear to see.
- It affects an estimated 6 million people in the U.S.
- Americans with gambling issues carry an average of $45,000 in debt.
- Those struggling with gambling are 20 times more likely to attempt suicide.
Prevention Efforts Face Challenges
Attempts to address problem gambling prevention in our communities are made even more complicated by several factors.
- Gambling opportunities like sports betting and online games are expanding rapidly.
- There is no funding at the federal level for responsible gambling programs.
- The public largely overlooks or misunderstands the problem.
Working Together Can Make a Difference
There’s a lot of work to be done in reducing the impact of problem gambling. Everyone can help play a part in prevention efforts.
- The gambling industry and media can help spread responsible gambling messages.
- The public can mobilize and let lawmakers know they support legislative and regulatory action.
- Community members can help raise awareness of the fact that problem gambling is everyone’s concern.
For more information on responsible gambling practices and resources to help raise awareness, visit BeforeYouBet.org.