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March 1, 2019

Missouri Contributes 'Awareness + Action' to Nationwide Effort

Marking its 15th year, the Missouri Alliance to Curb Problem Gambling is proud to continue its support of the National Council on Problem Gambling’s Problem Gambling Awareness Month. 

Unlike a substance use disorder, problem gambling shows limited outward signs or physical symptoms, causing it to commonly be referred to as a “hidden addiction.” Yet, problem gambling can have significant negative mental, social and financial impacts on the lives of those afflicted and their loved ones. According to the National Council, approximately 2 million of U.S. adults meet the criteria for pathological gambling, while another 4-6 million are considered problem gamblers.

“Anyone who gambles has the potential of developing a problem, regardless of how often they participate,” said Mark Rembecki, interim chair of the Missouri Alliance to Curb Problem Gambling. “There are options for free treatment available here in Missouri.”

Problem gambling is defined, in part, as an increasing preoccupation with gambling despite any mounting negative consequences. Similar to other types of addiction, problem gambling is a progressive addiction characterized by a need to bet more money more frequently, “chasing losses,” and a loss of control. 

“The goal of this campaign is to raise awareness of the prevention, treatment and recovery services,” said Rembecki. “To do so, Alliance members are running TV, radio and social media campaigns and hosting training sessions across the state. Our hope is to educate Missourians about the signs of a gambling problem and the availability of free treatment through the 1-888-BETSOFF service.” 

To access free help from licensed professionals, please call 1-888-BETSOFF (1-888-238-7633), email freehelp@888betsoff.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 ncpgambling.org and gamblersanonymous.org.