March is Gambling Awareness Month

HASTINGS, Neb. (Nebraska) – The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recognizes March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month, an opportunity to raise awareness through education and the sharing of resources including prevention, treatment and recovery, for individuals throughout Nebraska who may have problem gambling.

According to the National Library of Medicine, problem gambling is an urge to gamble, despite harmful negative consequences, or a desire to quit. The term is referred to as compulsive gambling by many professionals, as few people described by the term experience true compulsions in the clinical sense of the term.

Problem gambling is known as a hidden addiction and is classified as a behavioral health condition. Problem gamblers may not show physical signs of their addiction, but are often depressed, anxious, and may have suicidal thoughts. Often their addiction leads them to neglect family and friends, run up large amounts of debt, and potentially engage in illegal activities to finance their addiction.

10 Warning Signs of a Gambling Addiction:

  • You can’t stop playing, even when it hurts.
  • Bet money you can’t afford to lose.
  • Bet other people’s money.
  • Steal to bet.
  • Gambling is all you think about.
  • Gambling is the main way to escape.
  • Asking others to bail you out when you have bet your money.
  • By lying about the time and money you spend gambling.
  • Bet more after a loss to win back the loss.
  • Gambling is hurting your relationships.

There is hope and there is help. Gambling addiction is a diagnosable and treatable mental health condition. Be aware of the risks of gambling and take action if you start seeing warning signs of gambling addiction. Treatment services may include crisis intervention, individual counseling, group therapy, peer support, and family counseling. Help is available at no small cost to gamblers and their families.

Nebraska citizens who are struggling can seek help through the Nebraska Confidential Gambling Helpline at 1-833-238-6837. This helpline is toll-free, confidential, and available 24/7 to provide support. More information, including links to local care providers, help information for family members, and education tips, can be found at

Need to talk or get immediate help in a crisis? Help is available. If you or a loved one needs assistance, please contact:

  • Nebraska Problem Gamblers Assistance Program:
  • National Problem Gambling Helpline: Call: 1-800-522-4700; Text: 1-800-522-4700; o Chat:
  • The lifeline for suicide and crisis; call, text or chat on 988
  • Your faith-based leader, your healthcare professional, or your on-campus student health center.
  • Nebraska Family Helpline – Any questions, anytime. (888) 866-8660
  • Rural Response Hotline, (800) 464-0258
  • Disaster Relief Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 (oprime dos para Español) or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
  • National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4ACchild (1-800-422-4453) or text 1-800-422-4453
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

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