Michigan Joins National Effort with Adoption of Problem Gambling Helpline

Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) Enhances Safer Gambling Efforts with New Problem Gambling Helpline

In a move to bolster efforts for safer gambling, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has announced the launch of 1-800-GAMBLER, a new problem gambling helpline operated by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG). This initiative solidifies Michigan’s commitment to providing support for individuals and families affected by problem gambling.

Residents in Michigan who are struggling with problem gambling or are at-risk can now seek assistance by calling the new helpline, where they can receive information, support, and access to local treatment options. Additionally, individuals can engage with trained experts through online chat or text messaging. The introduction of 1-800-GAMBLER replaces the existing Michigan Problem Gambling Helpline, which will continue to operate alongside the new helpline.

The MGCB has mandated that gambling operators in Michigan prominently display the new helpline within their responsible gaming messages, with a deadline set for August 8, 2024, for compliance. This measure aims to ensure that individuals seeking help for problem gambling have easy access to the necessary resources.

According to estimates from the NCPG, approximately 2 million adults across the country are affected by problem gambling, with an additional 4 to 6 million individuals impacted by at-risk or compulsive gambling. The social cost of problem gambling is estimated to be around $7 billion annually.

Keith Whyte, the executive director of the NCPG, commended the MGCB for its proactive efforts in addressing the needs of those affected by problem gambling. He emphasized the importance of the helpline in providing vital support and resources to individuals across Michigan and the rest of the country.

Henry Williams, the executive director of the MGCB, highlighted the significance of the problem gambling helpline in connecting individuals to trained experts who can offer confidential support and assistance. The implementation of 1-800-GAMBLER in Michigan underscores the MGCB’s dedication to promoting a safer gambling environment for all players.

The introduction of the new problem gambling helpline reflects an important step in ensuring that individuals struggling with gambling-related issues have access to the necessary support and resources. With the collaboration between the MGCB and the NCPG, Michigan is taking a proactive approach to address problem gambling and promote responsible gaming practices.