Michigan Gaming Control Board promotes responsible gaming during problem gambling awareness month

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) reaffirmed its commitment to promoting responsible gaming practices as March marks the onset of Problem Gambling Awareness Month. With a focus on raising awareness and offering resources to address problem gambling behaviors, the Board said it prioritizes the well-being of individuals engaged in gaming activities across the state.

Celebrating the one-year anniversary of its informative podcast series, Double Down Michigan, launched in March 2023, the MGCB continues its efforts to educate Michigan citizens about the state’s gaming industry. Hosted by MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams, the podcast features discussions with industry experts on topics ranging from licensing to responsible gaming.

“The podcast has been an invaluable platform for sharing insights, industry updates, and responsible gaming practices with Michigan citizens and our stakeholders,” Williams said. “As we mark this significant milestone, we are excited to reaffirm our dedication to fostering a culture of responsible gaming among players and enthusiasts.”

In light of recent initiatives and, particularly, its award-winning “Don’t Regret the Bet” responsible gaming messaging campaign, the MGCB highlights an interview for Episode 15 of its Double Down Michigan podcast featuring Dan Trolaro, Vice President of Prevention – US at EPIC Global Solutions. 

A renowned gambling prevention specialist, Trolaro takes the time to talk with Williams about his personal gambling addiction that he overcame, and the interview delves into essential tips and strategies for citizens to recognize the warning signs of problem gambling and seek help when needed.

Scheduled to air later this month on March 21, the MGCB says the conversation highlights the agency’s commitment to collaborating with experts in the field so that Michigan citizens are equipped with the best possible knowledge and tools necessary to promote responsible gaming behaviors, empowering them to make informed decisions.

As gambling expands, there are so many vulnerable populations now — it’s criminal justice, it’s athletes, it’s young and emerging adults, it’s people who work for operators like sportsbooks and casinos, and it’s those who participate and play the games,” Trolaro said. It’s important that we shed light on safe ways to gamble, how to keep it safe and how to keep it a form of entertainment in its rightful spot, but also to shed light on what the potential harms could be, because we just don’t talk about that a lot.”

According to the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), about 2.5 million U.S. adults, or 1% of the population, are estimated to meet the criteria for severe problem gambling. Another 5-8 million, or 2-3%, meet the criteria for mild or moderate problem gambling. 

Operated by the NCPG, the National Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-GAMBLER) is a valuable resource that anyone can access via call, text (800GAM), or chat to obtain detailed information regarding treatment resources available in the caller’s local area.

“It’s important that people know that there’s support out there for them if they, or a loved one, are struggling,” added Trolaro. “The number one resource I always say is 1-800-GAMBLER. It’s that 24/7, 365 helpline that people can access confidentially and anonymously, and that can steer someone in the right direction.”

Michiganders can access episodes of the MGCB’s Double Down Michigan podcast on various platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Amazon Music. Suggestions for future podcast topics can be emailed to [email protected]