March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month

Every year sports fans are excited to celebrate the collegiate basketball tournament series known as March Madness. During this time, the gambling public will spend approximately $10 billion wagering on the outcomes of the games played. In response to this, March was selected as Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM).

Image of women on phone looking at sports gambling screen.

What is gambling?

Gambling is commonly defined as risking something of value, usually money, on the outcome of an event decided at least partially by chance. Many adults who gamble will never have a problem, however, 2–4 percent of adults who gamble are at risk for developing a gambling disorder.

If your gambling behavior is negatively affecting your relationships, finances, or work life, you may want to consider taking a self-assessment. Washington State residents and their families who do not have insurance for problem gambling treatment may be eligible for free treatment.

What is Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM)?

Problem Gambling Awareness Month is a national campaign that includes participation from state agencies, recovery groups, treatment organizations and providers.

  • The theme for 2022 PGAM is Awareness + Action. Groups across the country will air public service announcements and run social media campaigns.
  • Gov. Inslee issued a Proclamation in March 2022. The goal is to increase public awareness of problem gambling and promote prevention and recovery services. Approximately 6 to 8 million U.S. adults and 1 in 12 teens are considered to be at risk for developing a gambling disorder. If you or someone in your family is impacted by problem gambling, treatment is available and recovery is possible.

How can I participate?

If you are concerned that you or a loved one may have a gambling problem, take this assessment from Gam-Anon.

Are there other resources?