Problem gambling isn’t always thought of as a public safety issue. However, when you consider the negative impact on family, friends, and businesses, as well as the significant societal and economic costs, the extent of the problem becomes much clearer. Sadly, compulsive gambling affects more than one million Floridians of all ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds, and the promise of an endless revenue stream often places the government in the role of enabler.

Each problem gambler directly affects 8 - 10 individuals with negative consequences to personal and social relationships of the immediate family to include physical violence and emotional abuse.

The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling’s public awareness campaign provides an opportunity to educate the public, policymakers, educators, businesses, mental health, and criminal justice professionals, and others, about the adverse effects of gambling, its social, legal, financial, and emotional impacts, as well as available treatment.

Problem gambling is treatable for those who seek help, which minimizes the harm to our citizens and the State of Florida as a whole.

Numerous individuals, professionals, and organizations who are dedicated to assisting families in need can participate in preventing problem gambling by promoting the statewide 24-hour Help Line, (888) ADMIT-IT, and by making assessments and treatment readily available.

You can make a difference by actively participating in Problem Gambling Awareness Week at your place of business during the month of March.