Four Winds Casinos promote responsible gaming during Problem Gambling Awareness Month

DOWAGIAC — The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi’s Four Winds Casinos, in collaboration with the National Council on Problem Gambling, are dedicating the month of March to helping people increase their awareness about problem gambling and engage in positive action.  Gambling has remained a hidden addiction for many, even though approximately two million U.S. adults are estimated to meet criteria for gambling disorder, and another four-to-six million people are considered to meet criteria for problem gambling.

As March Madness reaches a crescendo this month with an estimated $10 billion in bets placed on the NCAA basketball championship games each year, calls to the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network spike an average of 30 percent during the month.

Using the social media hashtag #AwarenessPlusAction and #PGAM2021, Problem Gambling Awareness Month  is designed to help raise awareness of the prevention, treatment and recovery services available for those adversely affected by gambling.

For the 19th year, this grassroots campaign has brought together a wide range of stakeholders, including public health organizations, treatment providers, advocacy groups, and gambling operators that work collaboratively to let people know that hope and help exist, officials said.

“The Pokagon Gaming Authority and Four Winds Casinos have been, and will continue to be, fully committed to promoting responsible gaming at all of our locations in Michigan and Indiana, as well as our newly launched online casino and sportsbook in Michigan,” said Frank Freedman, COO of Four Winds Casinos. “Our employees complete mandatory training programs to ensure compliance with compulsive gambling regulatory requirements.  The training focuses on explaining the gambling disorder, recognition of behaviors, and how to provide resources to our guests.”

All Four Winds Casino locations display printed brochures that include information regarding signs of problem gambling and toll-free hotline numbers for the national helpline as well as the Michigan and Indiana state helpline numbers. In addition to the employee training and the resources made available to guests, the Pokagon Band Gaming Commission independently administers and processes requests from guests wishing to self-exclude from Four Winds Casino properties or the online casino and sportsbook.  More information and resources are available at fourwindscasino.com/responsiblegaming.

Four Winds Casinos has been a major sponsor for the National Council on Problem Gambling’s

National Conference on Problem Gambling, the largest and longest running conference on problem gaming worldwide.  Four Winds Casinos has also contributed more than $200,000 to the NCPG in voluntary sponsorships and membership dues. Raquel Buari, the vice president of compliance at Four Winds Casinos, holds a seat on the board of directors for the NCPG, the Michigan Association on Problem Gambling, and the Indiana Council on Problem Gambling.

If readers have or know someone who has a gambling problem, call or text the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network at (800) 522-4700 or visit ncpg.org/chat for confidential help.  Michigan residents can also contact the Michigan Association on Problem Gambling at michiganapg@gmail.com or call the state helpline at (800) 270-7117.

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