Those who work on the front lines of charitable gambling – such as waitresses, bartenders, bingo callers and pull-tab sellers – are in a unique position to observe the behavior of those who participate in gambling. They can vicariously enjoy the thrill of someone winning, but they can also see certain players for whom gambling is no longer a fun game. For these gamblers, who represent a small percentage of players, severe problems may develop due to their gambling.
Your Role as a Charitable Gambling Operator
Simple actions can be very beneficial. Make the Minnesota Problem Gambling Helpline phone number clearly visible in your establishment. Display the educational brochure “Whether, When and How Much” available from the Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance. The brochure can be requested from firstname.lastname@example.org. This informational brochure helps people explore their own gambling choices. Working together, everyone in the state of Minnesota can help prevent the negative impacts of problem gambling while supporting the charitable work in our communities.
What Can You Do?
If you recognize signs of a gambling problem in a customer, employee, friend or family member, there are steps you can take to help them:
- Assure the person that you care about them
- Describe the behavior that is troubling you
- Describe how you feel when you see these behaviors
- Assure them that you’ll listen to what they have to say
- Tell them what you want them to do about it
- Tell them what you are willing to do to help
Given the subtle nature of gambling problems, how can you identify someone who is at risk for compulsive gambling? Here are eight warning signs of a gambling problem:
- Increased frequency of gambling activity
- Increased amount of money gambled
- Gambling for longer periods of time than originally planned
- Bragging about wins, but not talking about losses
- Pressuring others for money as financial problems arise
- Lying about how money is spent
- Escaping to other excesses (alcohol, drugs, sleep, etc.)
- Denying there is a problem