Governor Ricketts Designates March as National Problem Gambling Awareness Month
Taylor Gage, Governor Ricketts, 402-471-1970
Anne McCollister, Gamblers Assistance, 402-471-4451
LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced he had signed a proclamation designating March as National Problem Gambling Awareness Month in Nebraska.
“Everyone needs to be aware of the risks posed by gambling to our families and our household budgets,” said Governor Ricketts. “I am asking all Nebraskans to learn about problem gambling disorders, to become aware of the serious harm that gambling can do to our families and our society, and to reach out to the Nebraska Gamblers Assistance Program for help.”
As many as 28,000 Nebraskans may suffer a problem gambling disorder, and as many as 200,000 adult Nebraskans may be at risk of developing a gambling problem, according to David Geier, director of the Nebraska Gamblers Assistance Program.
“Through this program, the State of Nebraska provides funds for free confidential problem gambling counseling with certified problem gambling counselors,” said Governor Ricketts. “I want Nebraskans who suffer a problem gambling disorder to know that help exists.”
Research has also shown that for every $1 of tax revenue generated by gambling, taxpayers end up spending $3 in social welfare programming, the criminal justice system, and infrastructure among other expenses. Ricketts joins the Nebraska Gamblers Assistance Program (GAP) in encouraging Nebraskans to look for signs of trouble before gambling gets out of control.
According to Geier, the warning signs of a gambling problem include: betting more than you can afford to lose; gambling more to win back the money you lost; borrowing money or selling something to gamble; other people saying you have a gambling problem; having health and financial problems associated with gambling; and feeling guilty about gambling or feeling you need to bet with higher amounts of money to get the same feeling of excitement.
March has been designated as National Problem Gambling Awareness Month, because one of the biggest sporting events of the year, the NCAA College Basketball Tournament, is also one of the biggest sports betting events of the year.
For more information about problem gambling, please visit the Gamblers Assistance Program website at www.problemgambling.nebraska.gov or call 402-471-4450. In the event of an emergency, please call the Nebraska Gamblers Assistance Help Line at 1-800-522-4700.