On the first day of National Problem Gambling Awareness Month last Wednesday, the Michigan Gaming Control Board released a list of responsible gambling guidelines for betting on March Madness (aka the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments).
On Monday, the MGCB followed up by unveiling “Don’t Regret the Bet,” a more general purpose responsible gambling campaign which will include public service announcements on radio, TV, streaming services, podcasts, and social media, as well as point-of-sale video ads at gas stations and digital billboards.
The televised PSA features animated versions of a man, his wife, and their dog sitting in the living room, where the man is consumed with the act of placing mobile bets on his phone. “Betting online could be fun,” a voice intones. “And, really, what have you got to lose?”
One by one, everything in the living room proceeds to disappear — the wife, the dog, the furniture, and even the dog’s bowl and bone. The only thing left is the gambler, alone on the ground with his phone, illustrating that if someone fails to control their gambling, they can, in fact, lose everything near and dear to them.
Online tools for seniors and teens
Among the many resources available on the Don’t Regret the Bet website are a problem gambling self-assessment, as well as a list of of problem gambling warning signs at two extremes of the age spectrum: seniors and adolescents.
“March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to launch the MGCB’s educational campaign,” said Henry Williams, executive director of the MGCB, in a press release. “The yearlong campaign is a crucial step in our ongoing efforts to reach the public with information, tips, and tactics promoting responsible gaming.”
Funding for the campaign was included in the agency’s 2023 budget, and it is seeking ongoing funding to continue the campaign beyond the current year. Michiganders who feel that they might have a gambling problem are encouraged to call the state’s 24-hour, toll-free helpline at 1-800-270-7117.
Image courtesy of the MGCB