In 2007, the Council launched a multi-faceted prevention of problem gambling state-wide initiative. For the first time in our history, funding was allocated to incorporate prevention strategies into our mission, and initiate and support efforts to prevent problem gambling.
The Council works to prevent problem gambling by raising awareness of the disorder, and by building the capacity of the existing prevention infrastructure, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations and educational institutions, so that the groups are able to join the prevention effort.
The Council is working with preventionists and educators across the Commonwealth to help them to understand problem gambling, and to support their efforts to prevent problem gambling, by providing training, resources and technical assistance.
Many of the Council Prevention Departmentís efforts focus on youth, college students, older adults, the corrections population, and cultural and linguistic under-served populations, including the Latino/Latina population, the Asian-American population and the African-American population. The Council utilizes the following prevention strategies to reach out to these groups:
- Information Dissemination -- Creates materials for the purpose of informing and raising awareness about problem gambling; such as posters, brochures and public service announcements.
- Prevention Education -- Teaches prevention professionals, educators and others so that they are able to add the prevention of problem gambling to their toolboxes.
- Supporting Alternative Activities -- Challenges community event organizers to choose social activities and fundraisers that do not promote problematic or illegal gambling.
- Supporting Community-Based Processes -- Utilizes multi-agency activities & inter-agency coordination to incorporate problem gambling prevention in the development of healthy communities.
- Environmental Approaches -- Supports and encourages community-wide approaches such as gambling policy development in schools and universities, as well as compliance with laws regarding legalized gambling.
- Problem Identification and Referral -- Creates protocols and procedures that assist individuals involved in problematic gambling to seek appropriate help.
By identifying populations that can benefit from problem gambling prevention strategies, and collaborating with these groups, the Council works to reduce risk factors and increase protective factors related to problematic gambling in the Commonwealth.