1-800-GAMBLER Takes Over As Michigan’s Problem Gambling Helpline

Written By Matthew Lomon on February 9, 2024
Megaphone and the logo for 1-800-GAMBLER problem gambling hotline that is now being used in Michigan

As part of its ongoing efforts to streamline access to responsible gambling resources, the Michigan Gaming Control Board announced Thursday via press release that it’s adopting 1-800-GAMBLER as the state’s primary problem gambling helpline.

Now, players in The Wolverine State will have access to the nation’s largest problem gambling helpline network. In particular, the National Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-GAMBLER) leads the charge in call volume, population served, and geographic area covered.

The support line, which is operated by the National Council on Problem Gambling, connects people and families impacted by problem gambling with professional support, local referrals, and resources. Currently, it serves as a single, streamlined access point to such tools for players from anywhere in the United States.

“The National Problem Gambling Helpline Network connects individuals struggling with gambling addiction to trained professionals who offer confidential assistance and resources,” said MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams in the release.

“By adopting 1-800-GAMBLER as the statewide problem gambling helpline, the MGCB reinforces its commitment to ensuring a safe and secure gaming environment for players across the state by ensuring that resources for treatment and recovery can be accessed quickly and easily.”

Online gambling operators in Michigan must display the new number as part of their responsible gambling messages by Aug. 8, 2024. Further, they must also update any listed helpline numbers by the same date.

1-800-GAMBLER to replace current Michigan Problem Gambling Helpline

According to the communication, the new NCPG line will replace the Michigan Problem Gambling Helpline currently in circulation (1-800-270-7117). It did note, however, that the previous number will remain in operation.

In other news from the release, the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services will be on the receiving end of all calls made to 1-800-GAMBLER from Michigan.

Users can also reach the hotline by texting 800GAM or chatting online at 1800gamblerchat.org. Regardless of the medium, individuals will have access to trained contact center staff 24/7, 365 days a year. Here, staff members can provide support, guidance, and relevant information about Michigan responsible gambling resources.

“An easily accessible helpline is a vital tool in providing problem gambling support services across the country,” said Keith Whyte, NCPG Executive Director. “We applaud MGCB for taking proactive efforts to address the needs of those affected by problem gambling and for recognizing the significance of promoting 1-800-GAMBLER in Michigan.”

Helpline adoption follows state’s award-winning RG campaign

Earlier this week, PlayMichigan spoke to the founder and president of King Media about its award-winning responsible gambling campaign, Don’t Regret The Bet.

Working in Collaboration with the MGCB, Coleen King said the project is all about trying to improve life for Michiganders. Now, in its second year of the campaign, King Media earned $3 million in funding from the 2024 fiscal budget back in December to continue working on the project.

Before the additional funding, Don’t Regret The Bet also won several awards in its first year. Alongside the joint NCPG-MGCB helpline, there is no shortage of reputable RG resources for players in The Wolverine State.

Photo by PlayMichigan
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Matthew Lomon

Matthew Lomon has been a contributor at Catena Media’s network of regional sites since July 2022. He first broke into covering the legal North American gambling industry with PlayCanada. Since then, Matthew's reporting has extended to PlayMichigan, PlayPennsylvania, and PlayIllinois. Based out of Toronto, Ontario, Matthew is an avid (bordering on fanatic) sports fan.

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