March Begins Problem Gambling Awareness Month

Charleston, W.Va. – As March Madness reaches a crescendo this month with an estimated $10 billion in bets placed on the NCAA Basketball Championships this year, calls to the National Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-522-4700) spike an average of 30% during the month.

For the 19th year, the West Virginia Lottery, in collaboration with the National Council on Problem Gambling, dedicates the month of March to helping people. The campaign theme, “Awareness + Action” is all about taking specific action and having conversations about problem gambling issues and directing people to the help they need.

“Across West Virginia, we have resources available for our players who may need to seek help for problem gambling,” West Virginia Lottery Director John Myers said. “We have advocacy groups and counseling available to help reach people and ensure that we can make a difference to those who many need it.”

Approximately 2 million U.S. adults, or one percent of the population) are estimated to meet criteria for gambling disorder. Another four to six million are considered to meet criteria for problem gambling. And yet for many residents of the U.S., gambling remains a hidden addiction.

Using the tagline #AwarenessPlusAction, Problem Gambling Awareness Month is designed to help raise awareness of the prevention, treatment and recovery services available for those adversely affect by gambling. This grassroots campaign brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including public health organizations, treatment providers, advocacy groups, and gambling operators to work together collaboratively to let people know that hope and help exist.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call or text the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network at 1-800-522-4700 or visit for confidential help.

For more information about problem gambling and how to increase awareness and action on problem gambling, go to .