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Michigan Gaming Control Board urges adding responsible gaming awareness to students’ lessons

Detroit, Sept. 1, 2022 – Michigan high school and college students traditionally study the “three Rs” — reading, writing and ʼrithmetic — but the gaming industry and regulators advocate adding a fourth R — responsible gaming —  this month as a new school year begins.

“As fall sports begin, it’s a great time to remind everyone to have fun responsibly when wagering on sporting events throughout the season,” said Henry Williams, Michigan Gaming Control Board executive director. “During September, the MGCB wants to raise awareness of responsible gaming particularly among young people and joins the American Gaming Association and its members as they introduce Responsible Gaming Education Month. The MGCB will use its social media channels throughout the month to help raise responsible gaming awareness in Michigan.”

According to National Council on Problem Gambling statistics, between 60% and 80% of high school students say they gambled for money in the past year. Additionally, NCPG says 4% to 6% of high school students are considered addicted to gambling. The research platform EarthWeb reports an estimated 6% of American college students battle against gambling problems.

A 2017 study also noted 13% of adolescents wagered money on sports teams as reported in the executive summary of a commissioned review of studies on sports wagering and problem gambling for the NCPG. The review’s authors in the executive summary pointed out concerns related to risk-taking behavior prevalent among adolescents and young adults. They also cited more social acceptance and the glamorization of gambling as factors influencing behaviors.

Parents, siblings and peers also should be aware of the signs of problem gambling in teens and young adults, Williams said. They include:

  • Carrying gambling materials such as dice, cards or poker chips
  • Gambling with money that is supposed to be used for school-related purposes
  • Skipping class or other school activities to gamble
  • Borrowing, stealing and selling items to get money to gamble

“While they can’t gamble legally on the internet or at a casino, young people may turn to illegal gambling options not authorized under Michigan law,” Williams said.

In Michigan, bettors by law must be age 21 or older to place a wager on authorized internet gaming or internet sports betting sites and in the Detroit casinos. The operators must meet know your customer requirements to establish legal age and identity before opening an internet account or allowing someone on the gaming floor.

Wagers can be placed on professional and college sports in Michigan but by law cannot be placed on high school sporting events. The MGCB publishes a sports wagering catalog to guide operators and bettors.

For users of MGCB-authorized internet gaming or sports betting sites, responsible gaming tools allow patrons to manage gambling by using self-imposed limits on:

  • Deposits
  • Wagers
  • Time spent gambling

For those who may gamble legally, self-exclusion options can help. Self-exclusion options are available through the internet site operators or their gaming providers and the MGCB’s Responsible Gaming Section. Application forms are available on the agency’s website (www.michigan.gov/mgcb: Disassociated Person's Forms (michigan.gov).

“If a family member or a close friend has a gambling problem, it’s important to encourage seeking professional help,” Williams said. “The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services offers a 24-hour, toll-free helpline to call if you or someone you know has a gambling problem.”

The MGCB Responsible Gaming Section can be reached at 888-223-3044. The MDHHS gambling helpline number is 800-270-7117. You also can visit MGCB’s social media channels throughout September for more responsible gaming information:

"The Michigan Gaming Control Board shall ensure the conduct of fair and honest gaming to protect the interests of the citizens of the State of Michigan."