MDCH Recognizes Gambling Awareness Week

Contact: James McCurtis, Jr. (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

March 10, 2008

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is partnering with communities across the country as it proclaims the week of March 9 as Problem Gambling Awareness Week.

Problem Gambling Awareness Week provides an opportunity to educate the public and policymakers about the services available for problem gambling.

The number of Michigan residents, age 18 and over, that currently have a gambling problem is estimated at 146,854. Of the 146,854, roughly 66,000 are estimated to be probable pathological gamblers.

The most common types of gambling reported were lottery (51 percent), casino (34 percent), charitable group events (26 percent), and office pools and 50/50 raffles (24 percent).

"The Michigan Department of Community Health is pleased to lend its voice in recognition of problem gambling awareness week," said Donald L. Allen, Jr., Director of the Office of Drug Control Policy. "Awareness of the many problems gambling inflicts on problem gamblers, and their families, is important. Friends and family members can be taught to recognize the signs of problem gambling and how to access resources to address the often devastating toll that problem gambling can cause."

Michigan will allocate approximately $3 million this year to fund: a toll-free, 24-hour confidential help-line (1-800-270-7117) for information, screening and assistance, confidential treatment services through a network of trained counselors, a gambling curriculum, gambling research, prevention and media.

As part of the awareness campaign, problem gambling screening and information will be available at the following higher education institutions:

Oakland University, Rochester                      March 10

Oakland Community College, Royal Oak        March 12

Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant       March 12 & 13

Michigan State University, East Lansing         March 14

Oakland Community College, Orchard Ridge   March 14

University of Michigan, Flint                            March 14

To see if additional sites are available in your area, please contact your local university. A gambling screening tool is also available on the Internet at www.gambleresponsibly.org.