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Michigan Gaming Control Board adopts 1-800-GAMBLER as statewide problem gambling helpline
February 08, 2024
DETROIT, Feb. 8, 2024 — The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) is pleased to announce new efforts to streamline access to help by promoting 1-800-GAMBLER as the state’s primary problem gambling helpline. Operated by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), the National Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-GAMBLER) is the largest problem gambling helpline network in the world by call volume, population served, and geographic area covered. The helpline connects people and families impacted by problem gambling with professional support, local referrals, and resources.
Online gaming platform providers operating in Michigan will be required to display the 1-800-GAMBLER number as part of their responsible gaming messages and update any existing listed helpline numbers by Aug. 8, 2024.
1-800-GAMBLER serves as a single, streamlined access point to local services and problem gambling help from anywhere in the U.S. The adoption of the number by MGCB for use in Michigan helps to move one step closer to consolidating the variety of state-level gambling helplines into one easy-to-remember problem gambling helpline number.
“The National Problem Gambling Helpline Network connects individuals struggling with gambling addiction to trained professionals who offer confidential assistance and resources,” MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams said. “By adopting 1-800-GAMBLER as the statewide problem gambling helpline, the MGCB reinforces its commitment to ensuring a safe and secure gaming environment for players across the state by ensuring that resources for treatment and recovery can be accessed quickly and easily.”
The 1-800-GAMBLER helpline will replace the Michigan Problem Gambling Helpline currently in circulation (1-800-270-7117), although the previous number will remain in operation. Calls made to 1-800-GAMBLER from Michigan will be routed to the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS). The helpline can also be reached by texting 800GAM or chatting online at 1800gamblerchat.org. Trained contact center staff are available 24/7, 365 days a year to provide support, guidance, and relevant information to anyone seeking help related to problem gambling.
“An easily accessible helpline is a vital tool in providing problem gambling support services across the country," said Keith Whyte, NCPG Executive Director. “We applaud MGCB for taking proactive efforts to address the needs of those affected by problem gambling and for recognizing the significance of promoting 1-800-GAMBLER in Michigan.”
According to the NCPG, an estimated 2 million adults meet the criteria for severe gambling problems in any given year, and another 4 to 6 million meet one or more of the criteria for a gambling disorder and are experiencing problems due to their gambling behavior.
The NCPG also estimates that the annual national social cost of problem gambling — including job loss, bankruptcy, gambling-related healthcare spending and more — is $7 billion.
The MGCB’s collaboration with the NCPG and advertising 1-800-GAMBLER as the problem gambling helpline signifies the agency’s dedication to promoting responsible gaming practices, protecting citizens from gambling-related harm, and providing support to those in need.
Gambling in any form is for entertainment purposes only. If you or someone you know may have a gambling problem, contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline, which offers hope and help without stigma or shame. Call 1-800-GAMBLER, text 800GAM, or visit www.1800gamblerchat.org. Help is available 24/7 and is free and confidential. Michigan citizens can also visit the Responsible Gaming page of the MGCB website for information on self-exclusion programs including the Disassociated Persons List and the Internet Gaming and Sports Betting Responsible Gaming Database, and DontRegretTheBet.org for additional tools to game responsibly.
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. Learn more at Michigan.gov/MGCB.