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MDCH Announces Problem Gambling Awareness Week As March 5-11

Armen Hareyan's picture

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is partnering with communities across the country this week as it proclaims March 5 to 11 as National Problem Gambling Awareness Week. The primary goal of this campaign is aimed at raising awareness throughout Michigan of the symptoms and consequences of problem gambling.

"MDCH is pleased to join in the recognition of problem gambling awareness week," said Donald L. Allen Jr., Director of the Office of Drug Control Policy. "Recognition of the insidious nature of this problem is key to providing meaningful assistance to the families engaged in this battle."

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A recent Western Michigan University study of gambling behaviors in Michigan found that an estimated 300,000 Michigan residents age 18 and over reported a lifetime gambling problem. The number of residents that currently have a gambling problem is estimated at 146,854. Of the 146,854, roughly 66,000 are estimated to be probable pathological gamblers.

The most common types of gambling reported were lottery (51 percent), casino (34 percent), charitable group events (26 percent), and office pools and 50?50 raffles (24 percent). The highest rates of problem gambling were for those who participated in numbers games (14 percent), non-charitable group events (13 percent), and non-casino events (7 percent).

Michigan allocates approximately $3.5 million each year to fund a toll-free, confidential number (1-800-270-7177) for information and assistance available statewide, confidential treatment services through a network of trained counselors, a gambling awareness curriculum available for grades 7-12, and prevention activities and public service announcements and brochures.

As part of the awareness campaign, problem gambling screening information and referral services will be available at the following schools:

  • University of Detroit, Detroit