This March marks the nineteenth year of Problem Gambling Awareness Month ("PGAM"), a campaign started by the National Council on Problem Gambling ("NCPG") to raise awareness for those suffering from problem gambling. National industry associations and Michigan operators have joined the cause this year with various initiatives and commitments to raising awareness for problem gambling.

The NCPG explained in a press release that Problem Gambling Awareness Month is intended to achieve two goals: 1) increase public awareness of problem gambling; and 2) encourage healthcare providers to screen clients for gambling problems. The NCPG has created materials and graphics for organizations to use in their problem gambling efforts this month in its PGAM Toolkit.

"March Madness is a time of year when we see an increase in gambling and more demand for our services," said Keith Whyte, Executive Director of NCPG. "Too many people still don't recognize they are exhibiting signs of this addictive behavior and are unaware of the help that is available to them."

The American Gaming Association ("AGA") and FanDuel announced an initiative this week to promote responsible sports betting through the AGA's campaign, "Have A Game Plan. Bet Responsibly." FanDuel recently launched internet gaming and sports betting in Michigan with MotorCity Casino. Through the initiative, FanDuel will "work with its league, team and media partners to grow the campaign across television, radio, digital and in-venue media."

"As the mobile gaming industry leader in the U.S., we believe promoting responsible gaming behaviors is a core tenet of growing our business and the industry as a whole," said Matt King, CEO of FanDuel Group. "We are not only going to commit substantial FanDuel resources to promote Have a Game Plan but we intend to build a consortium of partners throughout the sports and gaming business to scale this initiative and we encourage other operators to join us."

MGM Resorts and BetMGM also announced a commitment to responsible gaming in a press release earlier this week by promoting the NCPG's Problem Gambling Awareness Month and providing players with tools to make "responsible, informed decisions while playing." BetMGM and MGM Grand Detroit launched internet gaming and sports betting in Michigan in January. BetMGM and MGM Resorts employees will participate in a weekly educational series to help inform them on problem gambling prevention. 

"We're committed to providing BetMGM employees with the responsible gambling tools, information, and empowerment they need to ensure the highest level of customer service and care possible," said Richard Taylor, Responsible Gambling Program Manager at BetMGM. "Throughout the month they'll hear from experts about the nature of problem gambling, the importance of research and policy, and the role they can play in preventing problem gambling."

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi and Four Winds Casinos are partnering with the NCPG to promote Problem Gambling Awareness Month as well. All Four Winds Casino locations will display brochures with signs of problem gambling and toll-free problem gambling helplines and employees will complete training programs, according to a press release.

"The Pokagon Gaming Authority and Four Winds Casinos have been, and will continue to be, fully committed to promoting responsible gaming at all of our locations in Michigan and Indiana, as well as our newly launched online casino and sportsbook in Michigan," said Frank Freedman, COO of Four Winds Casinos. "Our employees complete mandatory training programs to ensure compliance with compulsive gambling regulatory requirements. The training focuses on explaining the gambling disorder, recognition of behaviors, and how to provide resources to our guests."


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