News

Governor Kelly Recognizes March as Problem Gambling Month in Proclamation Ceremony

For Immediate Release

March 1, 2019

For more information contact:

Cara Sloan-Ramos

Public Information Officer
Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services
785-296-0807

TOPEKA – Earlier today, Governor Laura Kelly signed a proclamation designating March as Kansas Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM) to parallel the campaign of the National Council on Problem Gambling, “Awareness Plus Action.”

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) and the Kansas Lottery, in collaboration with the Kansas Coalition on Problem Gambling (KCPG), dedicates March to helping people have the conversation about problem gambling. PGAM is designed to help raise awareness of prevention, treatment and recovery services available for those adversely affected by gambling.

Nationally, approximately 2 million of U.S. adults are estimated to meet criteria for pathological gambling and another 4-6 million would be considered problem gamblers. Data specific to Kansas tells the story of the financial impact of this issue. In this state alone, 112 individuals presented for treatment for a gambling addiction in 2018. Of those 112, credit card debt was reported by 60.7 percent, 66 percent had difficulty paying household bills and gambling debt ranged from $0–$200 million.

Yet for many, gambling remains a hidden addiction. “The creation of four problem gambling task forces across the state designed to raise community awareness about the far-reaching effects of this addiction has been instrumental to our efforts to let people know the signs to look for in themselves and their loved ones and that hope and help exists,” said KDADS Acting Secretary Laura Howard.

This month, KCPG will be presenting “How Gaming and Social Media are Designed to Keep Your Teenagers Hooked,” by Cam Adair, speaker, entrepreneur and pioneer on video game addiction, on one of the newest gambling topics emerging across the world. Adair is the founder of Game Quitters, the world’s largest support community for video game addiction serving members in 91 countries. In June of 2018, the World Health Organization recognized video gaming as a diagnosable disorder.

Mr. Adair will be in Topeka for a town hall meeting March 26 from 6:30–8 p.m. and a professional workshop March 27 from 8 a.m.–noon. These are free events open to the public. For details and to register for either of the Topeka events, visit https://bit.ly/2ThNPCt.

For those in the Wichita area, Mr. Adair will present a town hall March 27 from 6:30–8 p.m. and a professional workshop March 28 from 8 a.m.–noon. The Wichita town hall does not require registration. To register for the Wichita professional workshop, “Video Game Addiction Masterclass for Mental Health Professionals,” visit https://bit.ly/2Sw8y0T.

“We have a new generation of gamblers not gambling at casinos. Technology and access to the Internet has created more opportunities for youth to gamble on online sports pools, social casino games and video games like Fortnite. As a result, the prevalence of gambling and problem gambling will likely increase,” said Joyce Markham, President of KCPG. “With this growing concern, we are looking forward to Cam Adair’s insight into gaming addiction and the impact this will have on our youth.”

Stephen Durrell, Acting Executive Director of the Kansas Lottery says, “While the Kansas Lottery hopes its players enjoy our games, we never want any player to spend more money on the Lottery or other gaming than he or she can afford to lose. We always encourage our players to play responsibly, and we ask them to always seek help if they think they might have a problem.”

To get help for a gambling problem for you or a loved one, please call the Kansas Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700. The call is free and confidential. No-cost treatment is available to problem gamblers and concerned others through the Problem Gambling and Addictions Grant Fund. For more information about problem gambling and the resources available in Kansas, go to ksgamblinghelp.com.

Watch these social media accounts over the next month for more information about the #AwarenessPlusAction campaign:

KDADS
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KDADSOfficial
Twitter: @KDADSOfficial

Kansas Lottery
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KansasLottery
Twitter: @Kansas_Lottery

KCPG
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KSCoalitionPG
Twitter: @KSCoalitionPG