Copyright : ANTONIO BALAGUER SOLER / 123RF Stock Photo

Problem gambling and responsible gaming advocates from across the country will convene on Washington DC’s Capitol Hill on April 10, 2019, for the National Council on Problem Gambling’s Advocacy Day.

The non-profit organisation is striving to build awareness of gambling addiction, and is inviting individuals to share personal stories, concerns and priorities with elected officials on the day, stressing that “participants will play a critical role in shaping policy and legislative decisions”.

Keith Whyte, executive director of NCPG, highlighted the importance of Problem Gambling Advocacy Day: “As America undergoes the largest expansion of gambling in our nation’s history, now is the time to show our strength and share our stories.

“As the sole national advocate for people and families struggling with problem gambling, we must continue to be the voice for those that are affected.”

The event strives to bring advocates and lawmakers together to highlight the importance of developing strong public policies related to problem gambling and responsible gambling, including the expansion of sports betting as well as screening and treatment for military personnel and veterans.  

One legislative priority highlighted is allocating a portion of the $7bn in federal tax revenue from gambling for the federal funding for education, research, treatment and prevention.

Brianne Doura, legislative director for NCPG, said, “Personal stories are critical to educating legislators about the successes of existing local nonprofits and services, while simultaneously highlighting the gaps and the continuing needs of the communities and individuals that they serve every day.

“By encouraging our legislators to address this important issue, Advocacy Day participants will bring attention to gambling addiction and create meaningful change.”

The NCPG is currently hosting its sixteenth Problem Gambling Awareness Month, as part of which it hopes to expand awareness and understanding “of this often-hidden illness”.

PGAM has been designed with three key strategic goals, to increase public awareness of problem gambling, to increase the availability of prevention, treatment and recovery services and to encourage healthcare providers to screen clients for problem gambling.