National Problem Gambling Awareness Month (NPGAM), sponsored by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), is a time of national focus on the problem of addictive gambling. Previously, the campaign was held over a one-week time period during the first week of March. The month of March has been chosen because it coincides with the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s basketball tournament commonly referred to as “March Madness,” one of the most widely bet upon events in the U.S.

This year’s theme is Navigate Problem Gambling. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness about the warning signs of problem gambling, and the help that is available. There will be a different sub-theme each of the four weeks of the campaign:

  • Week 1 – March 2-8General Overview – What is gambling? When does gambling become problem gambling? Is gambling an addiction (DSM-5 definition)? What are the signs of a gambling problem?
  • Week 2 – March 9-15The Impact – Why do I need to know about problem gambling? How does problem gambling affect me? What are the consequences of problem gambling?
  • Week 3 – March 16-22Responsible Gambling – What does it mean to gamble responsibly? How do I do that? How do I know if my loved one is gambling responsibly or if there’s a problem?
  • Week 4 – March 23-March 31Help is Available Now – What do I do if I have (or my loved one has) a gambling problem? What other resources are available?

The Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance is participating in the campaign by facilitating the sharing of information about problem gambling through a variety of media outlets. You’ll be seeing lots of information about problem gambling, including television segments, radio ads, billboards and ambitious social media plans by both Northstar and the Minnesota Department of Human Services. We also encourage you to do what you can on a personal, grassroots level as well, such as showing your support of Northstar on Twitter and Facebook.

If you plan on taking part in awareness activities, please let us know so that we can recognize your efforts. All participants will be acknowledged in our next newsletter and on our website. Please email Cathie Perrault with an explanation of your project, an estimation of how many people you reached, as well as any accompanying photos by Friday, April 4.

Thank you for helping to draw more attention to problem gambling!