The Harrisburg based ad agency Neiman Group has recently created a $1.7 million ad campaign in association with a dozen or so compulsive gamblers who are currently in rehabilitation which is aimed at discouraging similar people who have crossed the threshold to compulsive gambling.
A portion of the funds have been allocated from the revenue generated from Pennsylvania’s 10 operational casinos. The campaign uses everything ranging from billboards, radio and television commercials to special messages in ATM receipts at ATM machines located near casinos.
The health department of the state has been long criticized by those in the field of gambling treatment for the long 4 year delay it took them to star an elaborate anti-gambling campaign, a lag that could prove crucial in the state’s stance against gambling and its addiction. Though the officials involved remained self-justifying as they maintained that a campaign of such magnitude could not have been started unless it was ensured that all treatment systems were well in place.
Currently the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Programs has given out contracts to over 70 counsellors in this field who are now entitled to use the state generated funds for treating people who lack the resources for such a course. The state funded treatment also includes private insurance coverage which is justified by the exponential rise in the patients that have signed up for the services in 2010.
If all goes as planned the numbers can go still further this year with all the new awareness campaigns being rolled out along with other measures being taken to control gambling addiction. Statistics suggest that increasingly more money has been used on and lost on slot machines every year starting 2006. It is in the hands of the government now to make up for the lost time and make sure that if they do allow the people to gamble in their state, the level of gambling remains under their control for the benefit of those people.