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State Agencies Highlight Available Assistance During Problem Gambling Awareness Week

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In observance of National Problem Gambling Awareness Week, the state departments of Health, Agriculture and Revenue today highlighted the availability of counseling and treatment services available to those affected by a gambling addiction.

"Problem gambling impacts not only the gambler but also their family and friends," said Health Secretary Dr. Calvin Johnson. "The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is committed to addressing compulsive gambling and reminds problem gamblers that help is available."

Problem gambling is defined as an urge to gamble despite harmful negative consequences or gambling despite an urge to stop.

Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Edward Trees stressed the Lottery's commitment to responsible gaming. The Lottery is administered by the Department of Revenue.

"The Pennsylvania Lottery is committed to maximizing revenues to benefit vital programs for older Pennsylvanians through the responsible sale and marketing of its products," Trees said. "The Lottery refrains from mischaracterizing its products by portraying 'fantasy' depictions in its advertising with no scenes of excessive material wealth, no portrayals of winners quitting jobs, and no depictions of great material gain. The Lottery encourages players to have fun playing its games with discretionary dollars, but reminds players that they should always 'play responsibly.'

"In partnership with the Pennsylvania Council on Compulsive Gambling, the Lottery also sponsors a toll-free gambling hotline that is featured on the back of instant tickets, during live televised drawings and on the Lottery's Web site at"

The Pennsylvania Horse and Harness Racing commissions are committed to keeping pari-mutuel gaming a pleasurable activity. All six racetracks in the state have instituted policies that promote safe, responsible gambling and are reviewed by the Licensing and Enforcement Board to protect Pennsylvania citizens, according to Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff.

"Gaming at Pennsylvania's horse and harness racetracks is a fun, recreational activity," said Wolff. "We want to make sure all visitors to our tracks enjoy gaming in a way that won't inflict any hardship on their lives or families."

Assistance is available by calling the 24-hour Pennsylvania Gambling Addiction hotline at 1-877-565-2112. The call is confidential, anonymous and free.

For more information on problem gambling, you can call 1-877-PA-HEALTH or visit

CONTACT: Stacy Kriedeman (DOH)

(717) 787-1783

Chris Ryder (Agriculture)

(717) 787-5085

Stephanie Weyant (Revenue)

(717) 787-6960

SOURCE Pennsylvania Departments of Health, Agriculture & Revenue
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