The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi’s Four Winds® Casinos, in collaboration with the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), are dedicating the month of March to helping people increase their awareness about problem gambling and engage in positive action. Gambling has remained a hidden addiction for many, even though approximately two million U.S. adults are estimated to meet criteria for gambling disorder, and another four-to-six million people are considered to meet criteria for problem gambling.
As March Madness reaches a crescendo this month with an estimated $10 billion in bets placed on the NCAA basketball championship games each year, calls to the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network (1-800-522-4700) spike an average of 30 percent during the month.
Using the social media hashtag #AwarenessPlusAction and #PGAM2021, Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM) is designed to help raise awareness of the prevention, treatment, and recovery services available for those adversely affected by gambling. For the nineteenth year, this grassroots campaign has brought together a wide range of stakeholders, including public health organizations, treatment providers, advocacy groups, and gambling operators that work collaboratively to let people know that hope and help exist.
“The Pokagon Gaming Authority and Four Winds Casinos have been, and will continue to be, fully committed to promoting responsible gaming at all of our locations in Michigan and Indiana, as well as our newly launched online casino and sportsbook in Michigan,” said Frank Freedman, COO of Four Winds Casinos. “Our employees complete mandatory training programs to ensure compliance with compulsive gambling regulatory requirements. The training focuses on explaining the gambling disorder, recognition of behaviors, and how to provide resources to our guests.”
All Four Winds Casino locations display printed brochures that include information regarding signs of problem gambling and toll-free hotline numbers for the national helpline as well as the Michigan and Indiana state helpline numbers. In addition to the employee training and the resources made available to guests, the Pokagon Band Gaming Commission independently administers and processes requests from guests wishing to self-exclude from Four Winds Casino properties or the online casino and sportsbook. More information and resources are available at: www.fourwindscasino.com/responsiblegaming.
Four Winds Casinos has been a major sponsor for the National Council on Problem Gambling’s (NCPG) National Conference on Problem Gambling, the largest and longest running conference on problem gaming worldwide. Four Winds Casinos has also contributed over $200,000 to the NCPG in voluntary sponsorships and membership dues. Raquel Buari, the Vice President of Compliance at Four Winds Casinos, holds a seat on the Board of Directors for the NCPG, the Michigan Association on Problem Gambling, and the Indiana Council on Problem Gambling.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, please call or text the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network at (800) 522-4700 or visit www.ncpg.org/chat for confidential help. Michigan residents can also contact the Michigan Association on Problem Gambling at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the state helpline at (800) 270-7117. Those living in Indiana can reach out to the Indiana Council on Problem Gambling at email@example.com or call the state helpline at (800) 994-8448.
For more information about problem gambling and how to increase awareness and action on problem gambling, please visit www.ncpgambling.org/pgam.
About the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians
The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians’ sovereignty was reaffirmed under legislation signed into law by President Clinton in September of 1994. The Pokagon Band is dedicated to providing community development initiatives such as housing, education, family services, medical care and cultural preservation for its approximately 5,700 citizens. The Pokagon Band’s ten-county service area includes four counties in Southwestern Michigan and six in Northern Indiana. Its main administrative offices are located in Dowagiac, Mich., with a satellite office in South Bend, Ind. In 2007, it opened Four Winds Casino Resort in New Buffalo, Mich., followed by Four Winds Hartford in 2011, Four Winds Dowagiac in 2013 and Four Winds South Bend in January 2018. It owns and operates a variety of businesses via Mno-Bmadsen, the tribe’s non-gaming investment enterprise. More information is available at www.pokagonband-nsn.gov, www.fourwindscasino.com and www.mno-bmadsen.com.
About the National Council on Problem Gambling
Based in Washington DC, the National Council on Problem Gambling is the only national nonprofit organization that seeks to minimize the economic and social costs associated with gambling addiction. If you or someone you know may have a gambling problem, contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline, which offers hope and help without stigma or shame. Call or text 1-800-522-4700 or visit www.ncpgambling.org/chat. Help is available 24/7 – it is free and confidential.