For Release on March 1, 2023
For More Information: Shannon Dictson, RGANM President
Phone: 575-464-7106 Email: [email protected]
Albuquerque, New Mexico — The Responsible Gaming Association of New Mexico (RGANM) in collaboration with the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) dedicates March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month, the 20th such anniversary. Across New Mexico, RGANM offers year-round outreach, prevention, and treatment for those affected by problem gambling. It’s estimated that about 2 million adults nationally meet the criteria for severe problem gambling.
“In the last year as Covid-19 restrictions lifted, we have seen casinos re-open in New Mexico as well as the racinos which also offer gambling. The penetration of online gaming in both adults and youth is also increasing,” said Shannon Dictson, the association’s president and the coordinator of the Mescalero Responsible Gaming Program in Mescalero, New Mexico. “Requests for help on our website increased in 2022 as did calls to our free and confidential 24/7 helpline, staffed by counselors trained in problem gambling treatment.”
March is not only Problem Gambling Awareness Month, it is also when the annual college basketball tournament is held. Americans are expected to wager more than $3 Billion dollars on the March Madness tournament, with players making bets in Las Vegas, online gaming, sportsbooks, and office pools. It was estimated that for the recent NFL Super Bowl, Americans wagered $16 Billion dollars.
“Gambling has become pervasive across the United States,” said Dictson. “In New Mexico, the collaboration of tribes that formed the Responsible Gaming Association of New Mexico before casinos even opened in 1997 knew that resources would be needed. RGANM provides many resources, including free treatment, that are available for the gambler and their family. We hold an annual August seminar for treatment providers, which helps educate them on the latest research and options to help problem gamblers and run public service announcements on how to find help.”
More information about those resources can be found at RGANM.org or by calling the RGANM Helpline at 888-696-2440. Nationwide statistics and resources can be found on the NCPG website at ncpgambling.org.