The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) designates March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM). In supporting the awareness effort, Asian Media Access and our partner – MN Minnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling have joint-forced to design a symposium – Cultural Communities Symposium on Problem Gambling and Mental Health on March 25th (Sat) at the Wilder Center at 451, Lexington Parkway North, Saint Paul, MN 55104.
One of the trigger points of the Symposium is the March Madness – the annual NCAA basketball tournament, which is one of the most anticipated and watched events in all of sports since 1939, as well as it sees over $8 billion wagered on its games, and this is the backdrop that all of us like to address with the “Problem Gambling Awareness Month” opportunity to help raise awareness and create action for those suffering from gambling problems.
When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that states could allow sports betting, the proverbial floodgates opened. As now sports betting is still not legal in MN, but Minnesota State Senator Jeremy Miller (R-Winona) is planning to introduce the Minnesota Sports Betting Act in an effort to legalize sports wagering in the state. Unfortunately, services to mitigate the inevitable increase in harms associated with gambling have not kept pace. Too many people still don’t recognize they are exhibiting signs of this addictive behavior and are unaware of the help that is available to them.
Collaborated with MN Dept of Human Services, Asian Media Access has worked with our youth to bring together a social media campaign:
- To increase public awareness of problem gambling; and
- To encourage Asian American community members to be aware of the symptoms for gambling problems.
The campaign is designed to encourage youth to be aware of gaming/gambling problems in the same way they do for alcohol and drug use disorder, and to provide resources to link for recovery. All too often, this gaming/gambling disorder leads to financial, emotional, social, occupational and physical harms, yet many cases go undetected due to the limited understanding about the harmful impacts.
Of course, problem gambling is certainly not confined to sports betting. We hope who may have a problem with any form of gambling to know that they don’t have to suffer in silence. MN Dept of Human Services pays for inpatient and outpatient problem gambling treatment for residents who qualify for help as well as a statewide, toll-free, confidential 24-hour helpline. For more information about problem gambling, call 800-333-HOPE or visit GetGamblingHelp.com
Funded by DHS, Asian Media Access has led a group of Asian American youth – as Cultural Brokers to address problem gambling issues impacting Asian American community.
Since being funded, Asian Media Access has supported 3 “Cultural Broker” youth cohorts to address problem gambling issues through producing content and multimedia projects in both English and heritage languages that speak within Asian American communities. Cultural Brokers have conducted community engagement and advocacy efforts, and built multimedia, social emotional, academic, and career navigation skills. In celebrating the Problem Gambling Prevention month, AMA has selected 10 top design postcards from our cultural brokers, and their works will be featured throughout the March, enjoy!!