March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month, Topic is Growing Issue

Home » March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month, Topic is Growing Issue

Posted on: March 1, 2022, 08:39h. 

Last updated on: March 1, 2022, 09:42h.

The National Council on Problem Gambling (NGCP) designates March as its “Problem Gambling Awareness Month.” The annual event is a time for the US gaming industry to reflect on its progress made. It’s also about implementing new initiatives that will better protect customers from developing erratic gaming behaviors in the months ahead.

problem gambling NCPG responsible play GameSense
A GameSense digital display at the Bellagio front desk seeks to inform bettors about gambling responsibly. March is “Problem Gambling Awareness Month,” an annual campaign from the National Council on Problem Gambling. (Image: MGM Resorts International)

2022 marks the 20th anniversary of the first March Problem Gambling Awareness Month. The NCPG estimates that approximately two million US adults — or roughly one percent of the population — meet the criteria to be classified as having a gambling addiction. The nonprofit adds that another four million US adults are believed to be experiencing gaming disorders.

The council says March’s call to action is a yearly effort to place the negative potential consequences of gambling front and center. The awareness campaign coincides with March Madness, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament that is one of the most bet-on sporting events in the country.

“March Madness is a time when we see an increase in gambling and more outreach for our services,” said Keith Whyte, executive director of the NCPG. “We want to help individuals with problem gambling, and this is the peak time for raising awareness of the issue.”

MGM Integrating Sportsbook Program

MGM Resorts generates more casino revenue than any other US gaming operator. The Las Vegas company announced today that it is leveraging its GameSense responsible gaming program to its digital gaming unit BetMGM.

GameSense was developed by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation in 2009. The responsible gambling program seeks to educate players about the odds that accompany the games they’re playing.

GameSense is described as a player-focused responsible gambling program that encourages patrons to adopt behaviors and attitudes that can reduce the risk of developing gambling disorders.

Massachusetts gaming law requires its commercial casinos to offer on-site GameSense informative kiosks. After finding it useful at its MGM Springfield casino, MGM Resorts announced in 2017 that it would bring GameSense to all of its Las Vegas Strip casinos. MGM announced today that GameSense is also being incorporated into BetMGM.

As we enter our fifth year with GameSense, we remain focused on offering new and innovative resources to our guests, designed to increase responsible gaming awareness, and to promote healthy play,” said MGM Resorts CEO & President Bill Hornbuckle. “GameSense remains an instrumental part of our guest service model and we’re confident that it has and will continue to make a difference.”

With GameSense, the BetMGM iGaming and mobile sports betting platform will “proactively promote and encourage responsible gaming.” MGM says GameSense will be on hand to provide users with gambling tutorials designed to better understand risk and reward, dispel “common gambling myths,” and provide easily accessible tools and resources for curbing one’s gambling spend or time spent gambling.

Dismal Forecast

Gaming continues to expand in the US. Sports betting was largely confined to Nevada just four years ago. Today, such wagering is legal and operational in 30 states. Six states have also since authorized internet slot machines and online table games.

The NCPG says the expanded gaming outlets led to 25.5 million more Americans gambling online in 2021 than did so in 2018. The council says that will likely lead to a substantial uptick in problem gambling rates, as sports bettors are considered more prone to “problematic play.”

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