News Update from the
Region 5 Problem Gambling Awareness Team
PGAM 2022 Edition

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month or PGAM.
The 2022 PGAM theme is
“Awareness + Action”

Gambling is defined as risking something of value on the outcome of an event when the probability of winning is less than certain

Problem Gambling or Gambling Disorder is characterized by behavior that leads to adverse consequences for the individual, families,
and society
Upcoming PGAM Events
We hope you will take advantage of the many educational opportunities this month. Did you know that Connecticut has 5 Problem Gambling Awareness Teams? Each team is hosting a webinar covering a variety of gambling related topics. Check out the flyers below.

Be sure to visit these websites for listings of the many
statewide PGAM events and to learn more about gambling awareness:

Expansion of Gambling in CT
Its been 4 months since CT legalized sports betting and internet gambling. Since October 19, 2021 it is now legal for those age 21 and older to place bets on sporting events (professional, college, international, and e-sports) and to engage in fantasy sports, and casino games online. I-Lottery is due to launch later this year.

So what has happened since the launch?
The Money:
According to the CT Department of Consumer Protection, CT received payments totaling just over $14 million from Mohegan Digital, MPI Master Wagering (Mashantucket Pequot/Foxwoods), and CT Lottery from online gaming and sports betting. This revenue is based on a percentage of wagers made from October 2021-January 2022 (13.75% of sports betting and 18% of online casino games). Participants in our state wagered a total of just over $3 billion.
The Advertising:
Three entities in CT are licensed to take bets on sports both in-person and online. Foxwoods with DraftKings, Mohegan Sun with FanDuel and CT Lottery with Rush Street (branded as PlaySugarHouse).

2 out of these 3 "sportsbooks", DraftKings and Fanduel have flooded our communities with TV ads, billboards, direct mail postcards, and social media ads offering "free bets", "deposit bonuses" and "casino credits" to entice participants to download their apps.

They use words like "risk free", it's "easy", "play free" and "win big with can't-beat odds boost".
The Consequences for Some:
Our partners at the CT Council on Problem Gambling have reported that compared to November 2020, hotline calls were up 87% in November 2021.

During the SuperBowl last month, they received 80 calls compared to 6 during last year's game.

MCCA, our Bettor Choice Provider, has seen an increase in clients over the past several months.
Prevention - Mitigating Risks
Many of our local prevention councils are engaged in sharing information, hosting trainings, collecting data and doing environmental scans within the communities they serve. This is one way we infuse problem gambling prevention within the work we do.
Broad dissemination of information is a key strategy. Our Problem Gambling Awareness Team webpage contains a toolkit with downloadable fact sheets, relevant news articles, and links to other important websites and treatment supports.

Youth-Focused Prevention:
Statewide Youth Gambling Awareness Projects

3 youth groups in Region 5 are participating in a Youth Gambling Awareness Media Project. They have been working hard since last fall putting together a public service announcement with a youth gambling prevention focus.

We hope you will join us on March 23rd where they will showcase their projects. We're excited!

Spot the Problem:
Gaming or Gambling Addiction

For some people, gaming or gambling activities stop being fun and instead become a compulsion that causes stress and harm.
For more youth-focused prevention resources, visit our website
Help Is Available

Bettor Choice Treatment Providers

Each of the 5 regions in CT is serviced by a Bettor Choice Treatment Provider. MCCA in Region 5 offers outpatient and short term inpatient treatment, and counseling to those struggling with gambling and their famlies.
Team Spotlight
The Region 5 Problem Gambling Awareness Team consists of community stakeholders working toward raising awareness around disordered gambling and helping connect those in need to treatment.  
Our partners include DMHAS Problem Gambling Services, The CT Council on Problem Gambling (CCPG) and treatment providers MCCA, Help, Inc., and Apex Community Care.
In this edition, we shine the team spotlight on Kaitlin Foshay-Brown, Director of Programs and Services at CCPG. Her work and that of the Council, was featured in a recent ESPN article:
In this excerpt, Kaitlin describes a recent helpline call...

On this December day, Brown grabs her phone and answers with her standard greeting: "Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling help line. Can I help you?"
The man gives his name -- Brown can't provide personal information, so let's call him Mike -- and says he's in his early 20s. Last October, as soon as Connecticut legalized sports gambling, Mike downloaded the FanDuel app and started betting ... and now he says he can't stop. He says it's just so easy now, 10 seconds away on his phone. He blew through thousands of dollars that his parents thought were going toward college. The man, like so many of the younger callers Brown talks to these days, says he dabbles in cryptocurrency and day trading, too.

Click here to read the complete article (please do!)
Please visit the team webpage where you can find out more and download resources to share!

Western CT Coalition is the Regional Behavioral Health Action Organization servicing the 43 towns of DMHAS Region 5.

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