Pickett leads effort to raise awareness of problem gambling
To help raise awareness of problem gambling as a serious public health issue, Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna), chairman of the House Gaming Oversight Committee, secured House passage of a measure to retroactively mark March 3-9 as Problem Gambling Awareness Week in Pennsylvania.
House Resolution 151, which passed the House unanimously, designates March 3-9, 2013, as Problem Gambling Awareness Week in Pennsylvania. This designation mirrors the National Problem Gambling Awareness Week that is recognized across the country.
"While thousands of our residents enjoy recreational gaming and gambling - either at our horseracing tracks, the standalone casinos or our resorts - for some individuals and families, gambling can become an issue affecting and disrupting their lives," Pickett said. "Even though the weeklong recognition is passed, we can still do more to raise awareness of this issue."
The goal of this resolution - and the goal of a special week - is to educate the general public, along with health care professionals, about the warning signs of problem gambling and to raise awareness about the help that is available at the local, state and national levels.
"I believe it is important for us to acknowledge the addiction that can be caused by gambling - along with its societal and economic costs - and to make sure that resources are available to help those who are in desperate need of treatment," she added. "Sadly, those who seek treatment are limited, even though there are countless organizations dedicated to providing this assistance."
The resolution also urges the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to continue its outreach efforts and to work with the gaming industry to develop and implement problem gambling programs and promote community-based initiatives, and that departments of Health and Drug and Alcohol Programs, with the Gaming Control Board, work with individuals, professionals and organizations to jointly create, develop and promote public awareness campaigns regarding the recognition and prevention of problem gambling.
More information on problem gambling is available on the Gaming Control Board's website at www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov.
Submitted by Rep. Tina Pickett