States in the US are constantly devising new means to promote responsible gambling, and Michigan is at the forefront. The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has incorporated the national problem gambling helpline 1-800-GAMBLER as the state’s primary hotline to foster responsible gambling.
The 1-800-GAMBLER is the hotline network with the largest reach operated by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG). Hence, it provides people:
- Local referrals
- Professional support
- Other related resources
By dialing 1-800-GAMBLER, individuals gain access to a comprehensive network of localized services and support for problem gambling issues across the United States. The MGCB’s decision to integrate this hotline number in the state facilitates the ongoing effort to centralize and simplify problem gambling assistance.
In an MGCB news release, Executive Director Henry Williams said:
“The National Problem Gambling Helpline Network connects individuals struggling with gambling addiction to trained professionals who offer confidential assistance and resources. 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.”
Michigan problem gambling helpline consolidation
The introduction of the 1-800-GAMBLER helpline in Michigan signifies a shift in the approach to addressing problem gambling statewide. While the existing Michigan Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-270-7117) will continue to operate, the new number offers an additional avenue for individuals seeking assistance.
Calls to 1-800-GAMBLER from within Michigan will be seamlessly directed to the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS), ensuring local support and resources.
Moreover, accessibility is enhanced through alternative communication channels such as texting “800GAM” or engaging in online chat sessions at 1800gamblerchat.org. This multifaceted approach caters to diverse preferences and circumstances, accommodating those who may prefer non-verbal communication or require discreet assistance.
NCPG Executive Director Keith Whyte said:
“An easily accessible helpline is a vital tool in providing problem gambling support services across the country. 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.”
The helpline operates around the clock, every day of the year, staffed by trained professionals equipped to offer compassionate support, valuable guidance, and pertinent information to individuals grappling with problem gambling.
MGCB orders online casinos to jump on the new development
Under this new measure, the MGCB asked that all online gaming operators in Great Lakes State display 1-800-GAMBLER on or before Aug. 8, 2024, in all of their responsible gambling messages that usually pop up when players use their respective apps and platforms.
Currently, there are 15 online casinos in Michigan, and some of them include gambling heavyweights like:
- Caesars Palace
As reported by the NCPG, approximately 2 million adults are facing severe gambling issues annually. Problem gambling takes a heavy toll on society, with far-reaching consequences such as unemployment, financial ruin, and increased healthcare expenses.
The NCPG further projects that the cumulative annual social cost of problem gambling at a national level amounts to $7 billion.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has reiterated the importance of staying vigilant and cautious, particularly with the looming specter of events like the Super Bowl drawing near. In light of this, she has issued a warning to residents regarding the prevalence of scams and deceptive practices associated with online gaming platforms.