The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has taken steps to promote safer gambling by launching a new problem gambling helpline, 1-800-GAMBLER, which is operated by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG). This move is part of the board’s dedication to providing a safer gambling environment for residents in Michigan.
Residents with gambling problems, at-risk gambling behavior, and their families can call the helpline to receive information, support, and resources. They can also chat online or send a text for assistance. The new helpline will replace the current Michigan Problem Gambling Helpline, but the old number will continue to operate as before. The helpline is available 24/7, 365 days a year and provides access to vetted and trained experts who can offer guidance and support.
Operators in Michigan are required to display the new 1-800-GAMBLER number within their responsible gaming messages by August 8, 2024. The NCPG estimates that around 2 million adults across the country are affected by problem gambling, with an additional 4 to 6 million people impacted in some way. The social cost of problem gambling is estimated to be around $7 billion annually.
NCPG’s executive director, Keith Whyte, applauded the MGCB for its proactive efforts to address the needs of those affected by problem gambling and for promoting 1-800-GAMBLER in Michigan. Henry Williams, the executive director of the MGCB, emphasized the helpline’s efficiency in connecting people affected by gambling to trained experts who provide confidential support and resources. He also stated that the implementation of the 1-800-GAMBLER helpline reaffirms the board’s dedication to a safer gambling sector.