Problem Gambling Awareness Month Posted On

Welcome to the 2020 Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM). This year, we are focusing on the connection of problem gambling and other mental illness. We want to help residents of New York State understand the connection and available resources.

Problem Gambling Defined

Problem gambling refers to any time gambling causes problems in someone’s life. These problems can include the mental health of the gambler, such as struggling with anxiety or mood disorders.  They can also focus on the well-being of family relationships, career success, and/or financial difficulties.

Importance of PGAM

Problem Gambling Awareness Month is an important time to focus on the issues around problem gambling. There is still a huge stigma that problem gambling is simply a lack of willpower.  The most recent brain studies and research on gambling addiction show that will power is not the problem. Problem gambling is a brain disease. As with any other diseases, problem gambling can be professionally diagnosed, which is referred to as gambling disorder.  Therefore, since gambling disorder can be diagnosed, it can be helped with treatment.

During March, we’re hoping to help break the stigma that this diagnosable disease is a lack of willpower. We’re hoping to continue to raise awareness that problem gambling is a brain disease.  We want to educate our communities that treatment is becoming more locally available.  We want to encourage those in need to reach out.  Raising awareness is important because it will help end the stigma.

Gambling Disorder Screening Day

March 10th is national problem gambling screening day. This is a great opportunity for all professionals to screen clients or patients.  The New York Council on Problem Gambling (NYCPG) has an online Screening Day Toolkit.  This toolkit includes all the resources necessary to take action and celebrate PGAM by participating in screen day.  Each screening runs the chance of saving a person and their family.

Helping Families

If you are a loved one of someone who is struggling with problem gambling, you can take action.  Educate yourself about how you can manage the effects of problem gambling on you and your family. The NYCPG’s Family Toolkit is a great resource to help you learn more about problem gambling.  Look through the resources included for tips to take care of your health, your relationships, and your financial stability.

Problem Gambling Awareness Month is a great opportunity to help educate people across New York State about problem gambling and the resources and support available to them. If you or a loved one are looking to learn more about additional resources, please reach out to your local Problem Gambling Resource Center at


Additional 2020 PGAM Articles: