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PGCB releases problem gambling guide

25/4/2007
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has released a new brochure on its website to help people assess their personal gambling behaviour at online casinos to determine if they should seek help.

The ‘Your First Step to Change’ guide can be used by individuals who are unable or unwilling to speak with either a trained counselor or recovering problem gambler involved in a 12-step program, according to Nanette Horner, the Director of the Board's Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling.

Horner said, "This guide has a gentle tone that provides a method for self assessment that may be utilized by both problem gamblers as well as by individuals who may not have a gambling problem and want to determine if and how they may want to gamble".

The website (PGCB.state.pa.us) has both a downloadable and an interactive version of the guide via the Compulsive and Problem Gambling link.

Horner commented that the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling and the Institute jointly created the guide as a public service project for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders (a program of Harvard Medical School's Division on Addictions). Research from addictions showed that addicts are often hesitant to make changes even in the face of adverse consequences to their life.

"We are offering this guide in an effort to provide residents of this Commonwealth with a tool that would assist them in the assessment of their gambling behaviour and the decision to make a change," Horner explains. "The Board has and will continue to review research and explore programs related to the prevention, awareness, education, and treatment of gambling problems," said Horner.

Stephen Holder.
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