Michigan’s Problem Gambling Diversion Program Provides Tools To Fight Gambling Addiction

Written By Dan Holmes on July 19, 2023 - Last Updated on July 28, 2023
Michigan problem gambling diversion program

With sports betting, online casinos, retail sportsbooks, and the lottery, Michigan has one of the most active legal gambling markets in the country.

With that success comes responsibility. The state government has that under control: Michigan’s gaming laws mandate that there be a gambling education and addiction program. That’s where the Michigan Problem Gambling Diversion Program comes in.

Part of the tax revenue received from sports betting operators, casinos, and the lottery, is used to fund the program, which helps consumers who may have a problem with gambling. More than $899 million has been received from gambling activity in the state historically.

According to the Michigan Gaming Control Board, as noted on our list of compiled Michigan gambling statistics, more than 850 individuals have entered the state’s Problem Gambling Diversion Program since 2011.

What happens when you call the Problem Gambling Hotline in Michigan

The MI Gambling Helpline is 1-800-270-7117, and it’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When you call that number, for yourself or someone else, you can end up being referred to the Problem Gambling Diversion Program.

Here’s what you can expect if you call:

  • When you call the helpline, you will be asked a few confidential questions about your health and gambling habits.
  • You will be asked if you feel you have a problem that needs to be treated, and may be referred to an expert in gambling addiction.
  • All information you supply to the MI Gambling Helpline will be held in confidence.
  • You will receive the help you need to find gambling addiction resources.

What a Problem Gambling Diversion Program does

The Michigan Problem Gambling Diversion Program is a comprehensive and structured resource designed to help individuals who struggle with problem gambling. It aims to provide support, resources, and treatment options to address the addictive behavior and its associated consequences. These programs are typically offered by addiction treatment centers, mental health clinics, or specialized organizations focused on gambling-related issues.

The primary goal of the Michigan Problem Gambling Diversion Program is to assist individuals in overcoming their compulsive gambling behavior. These programs offer a range of services that cater to the unique needs of each individual, promoting recovery in Michigan and preventing relapse. The programs are often multi-faceted and combine various therapeutic approaches, including individual counseling, group therapy, education, and support networks.

Individual counseling plays a crucial role in gambling addiction programs. In one-on-one sessions, a trained therapist or counselor helps individuals explore the underlying causes and triggers of their gambling addiction. Through these sessions, individuals gain a deeper understanding of their gambling behavior and learn coping strategies to manage urges and cravings.

Group therapy sessions offer a supportive and empathetic environment for individuals to connect with others who share similar experiences. Sharing stories, listening to others, and participating in group discussions can be immensely helpful in breaking the cycle of isolation and shame that often accompanies gambling addiction. Group therapy also provides an opportunity for individuals to learn from the successes and challenges of others and build a network of support.

Education about gambling addiction and its consequences is another crucial component of a diversion program. Individuals learn about the risks associated with gambling, the psychological factors that contribute to addiction, and the financial and emotional impact it can have on their lives and relationships. Education equips individuals with the knowledge to make informed decisions and develop healthier attitudes toward gambling.

Support networks, such as Gamblers Anonymous, are often integrated into gambling diversion programs. These networks provide ongoing support, encouragement, and accountability for individuals in recovery in Michigan. They offer a safe space where individuals can share their struggles and triumphs, find sponsors or mentors, and receive guidance from those who have successfully overcome gambling addiction.

Additionally, the Michigan problem gambling diversion program may collaborate with financial counselors and legal advisors to address the practical consequences of excessive gambling. This may involve developing strategies to manage debts, repairing damaged relationships, and addressing any legal issues that may have arisen as a result of the addiction.

The Michigan Problem Gambling Diversion Program combines individual counseling, group therapy, education, and support networks. These programs provide individuals with the necessary tools and support to break free from the cycle of addiction. They aim to empower individuals to regain control over their lives, repair relationships, and develop healthier attitudes toward gambling.

Michigan is one of the top 10 states in the nation by total handle from sports betting, and one of a handful of states with legal online casinos. The state also offers live dealer poker, and of course there are many brick-and-mortar casinos in the Great Lakes States. All of that is supported by careful regulatory oversight and a problem gambling diversion program that’s helping consumers in the state.

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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a Michigan resident who writes about sports betting, sports media, casino and sports betting legislative matters. He's the author of three books, and previously reported for Major League Baseball, as well as the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters.

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