To coincide with March being Problem Gambling Awareness Month, Maine’s Gambling Control Board has announced a new virtual program that will allow people to voluntarily exclude themselves from being able to participate in casino gambling in Maine. 

From the Department of Public Safety Gambling Control Board:

Self-exclusion is an action a person can take to ban themselves from entering all casinos in Maine for one year, three years, five years, or a lifetime. Before this virtual option was made available a person would have to walk into a casino or other designated location in the community to fill out the form. Now with the virtual option, you don’t have to leave your house to register. “Gambling can be a fun and entertaining experience for many people. But we know that it can also be harmful to some people” said Steven Silver, Chair of Maine’s Gambling Control Board. “We know right now there are some people who are struggling with problem gambling. So as a board, we wanted to make sure we have the proper resources and services in place to help our fellow Mainers.”

“The Gambling Control Board has taken a positive step to reduce the harm of gambling problems by making self-exclusion more accessible and convenient for people in the State of Maine,” said Lori Manson, Problem Gambling Services Coordinator with AdCare Educational Institute in Augusta. “Self-exclusion can be an effective way for some people who suffer with gambling problems to avoid the temptation of casino gambling.”

A recent study found that 79 percent of Mainers gambled in the past year. Two percent spent money at a casino weekly or more often. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, one percent of U.S. adults are estimated to meet the criteria for severe gambling problems. Another two to three percent experience mild or moderate gambling problems which mean their gambling is causing problems that impact their professional and personal lives.

Maine’s problem gambling helpline 24/7: Call 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 898-211.

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