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Responsible Gambling Promoted During August Activities

Never borrow money to gamble, and if you choose to gamble, do so responsibly. These tips and more are being promoted by the Missouri Alliance to Curb Problem Gambling during the ninth annual Missouri Responsible Gambling Education Awareness Month in August.

"We have programs, educational exhibits and presentations throughout the year, but recognizing one month of the year as Responsible Gaming Education Month helps to put the spotlight on the seriousness of problem gambling and the variety of programs Missouri has to help problem gamblers and their families," said Gary Gonder, director of integrated services at the Missouri Lottery and the incoming chairman of the Alliance.

While the Alliance's primary focus is on problem gambling, members of the Alliance, including the Missouri Gaming Commission, the Missouri Gaming Association (MGA) and the Missouri Lottery, also work to educate individuals who choose to gamble on ways to participate in gambling activities responsibly.

"The vast majority of individuals who gamble do so responsibly and gamble only as a form of entertainment," said Mike Winter, executive director of the MGA. "These individuals gamble with family members or friends. They also limit the amount of time they gamble and the amount of money they will spend.

"Keeping gambling as a game among our patrons is important to the Alliance," Winter said. "For some individuals, their gambling has caused serious financial and family problems. For these reasons, the Alliance members created a comprehensive program that includes education, a help line, a variety of free treatment options and research."

According to Gonder, this month is usually highlighted by the Midwest Conference on Problem Gambling and Substance Abuse, but the annual conference was held in June in conjunction with the National Conference on Problem Gambling, which was held in Kansas City on June 8-10.

"Although the conference was held earlier this summer, we still want to raise awareness of problem gambling," Gonder said.

Earlier this month, Missouri casino employees took part in problem gambling training and awareness programs. Also this month, an awareness presentation at a youth leadership conference in St. Louis was made.

The Alliance and its members provide the following tips to participating in gambling activities responsibly.
  • Low-risk gamblers know that over time there are more losses than wins.
  • Responsible gambling is done for limited amounts of time and with a limited amount of money.
  • Responsible gamblers always have pre-determined, acceptable limits for losses.
  • Responsible gamblers understand that gambling is an activity with risk.
Setting Personal Guidelines:
  • Remember that gambling is a form of entertainment only.
  • Never borrow money to gamble (using a credit card to gamble is a form of borrowing money).
  • Gamble with money set aside for entertainment, never with money for everyday expenses.
  • Make sure to include other forms of entertainment in your life.
  • Don't gamble when highly stressed, depressed or troubled in any way.
If you believe you or someone you know may have a gambling problem, call 1-888-BETSOFF (1-888-238-7633) or visit 888BetsOff.org.

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Created by the Missouri Lottery in cooperation with the Missouri Alliance to Curb Problem Gambling.
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Compulsive gambling is a behavior disorder in which an individual has an uncontrollable preoccupation and urge to gamble. This results in excessive gambling, the outcome of which is loss of time and money.

The gambling reaches the point at which it compromises, disrupts or destroys the gambler's personal life, family relationships or vocational pursuits. The key signs are emotional dependence on gambling, loss of control and interference with normal functioning.