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March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month

(Published March 11, 2023)

This year the Iowa Department of Public Health is again collaborating with the National Council on Problem Gambling during the month of March to encouraging people to “have the conversation” about problem gambling. Approximately 2 million (1%) of U.S. adults are estimated to meet criteria for pathological gambling, another 4-6 million (2-3%) would be considered problem gamblers; yet for many, gambling remains a hidden addiction.  Here in Iowa about 1.7 million adult Iowans have gambled in the past year, and about 315,000 adult Iowans are classified as "at-risk" gamblers.

Problem Gambling Awareness Month is designed to help raise awareness of the prevention, treatment and recovery services available for those adversely affected by gambling. The grassroots campaign brings together a wide range of stakeholders - public health organizations, advocacy groups and gambling operators who work collaboratively to let people know that hope and help exist.

As March Madness reaches a crescendo with an estimated $10 billion in bets placed on the NCAA basketball championship games, calls 1-800-BETS OFF will increase by about 30%.

If you have questions you’d like answered, support and assistance is available through Live Chat, by calling 1-800-BETS OFF, or by texting (855) 895-8398.