SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The Illinois Department of Human Services is starting to roll out a new gambling addiction awareness campaign.
“Are you Really Winning?” is the new campaign brought on by IDHS. It focuses on asking questions like “Do you feel restless or irritable when you try to stop gambling?” and “Have you tried to hide how much you have gambled from your loved ones?” in hopes of bringing awareness of the issue and normalization of getting help for gambling problems.
“It is so important that we continue to let Illinois residents know about the signs of problem gambling,” IDHS Secretary Grace Hou said. “I hope this campaign will continue to raise awareness of the effective treatment and recovery options available to people experiencing problem gambling disorder.”
Sports betting is at an all-time high in Illinois, raising more than $1 billion dollars in revenue in October alone. In a study done by Health Resources in Action, four percent of Illinoisans struggle with gambling addictions while another seven percent are at risk for developing an addiction.
“Understanding the signs of problem gambling and knowing that help is confidential and available 24/7 gives people hope that they can recover,” Laura Garcia, IDHS’ Substance Use Prevention and Recovery Division Director, said.
IDHS has launched a new website for the campaign to help people get resources. If you are struggling with gambling addiction, you can call the confidential 24/7 hotline at 1-800-GAMBLER. You can also text GAMB to 833234.