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WVPGHN Hosts Two Events Seeking to Raise Awareness of Problem Gambling

Problem Gambling Awareness Month West Virginia’s Problem Gambling Health Network (WVPGHN), in partnership with the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), has been continually helping to raise awareness of problem gambling across the state. For more than 20 years, March has been nationally recognized as Problem Gambling Awareness Month, a campaign seeking to highlight the signs and risks associated with problem gambling.

The entity in charge of fielding calls from within West Virginia will host two events during March and April, aiming to address excessive gambling within the state and reach out to as many affected gamblers as possible.

Sheila Moran, a nationally certified gambling counselor and Director of Marketing and Communications at WVPGHN, commented on the issue of problem gambling across the states and in West Virginia, highlighting the gravity of the problem. The expert cited a study released some 20 years ago, revealing that 1% of the US population struggled with problem gambling, while 2% to 3% met the criteria for at-risk gambling. With the expansion of gambling across all states, including West Virginia, however, the problem must have been exacerbated, according to Mrs. Moran.

Her statement is in keeping with the figures published in WVPGHN’s Annual Report for State Fiscal Year 2023, indicating an increase in helpline callers under the age of 35. While ten years ago, helpline callers under age 35 accounted for 23% of the total volume of calls, in Fiscal Year 2023, this percentage rose to 39%. These, along with other statistics from the report point to gambling becoming “a much bigger problem than we know”, as noted by Sheila Moran.

WVPGHN Hosts the “Annual Mountain State Summit on Gambling Addiction” and the “Weekend Retreatment” Events


The first event that the WVPGHN will host during Problem Gambling Awareness Month is the Annual Mountain State Summit on Gambling Addiction at Northgate Business Park in Charleston, scheduled for March 19, 2024. While in the past the event was predominantly attended by gambling addiction professionals, now it is open to community members as well, who will be able to attend it free of charge.

The event’s program will center on a documentary called “This Is Not Financial Advice”, dedicated to cryptocurrencies and highlighting their relation to gambling. Additionally, there will be a presentation themed around gambling and social media and their impact on the young generation.

The second event is “Weekend Retreatment”, which will be held in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia and is scheduled from April 19 to 21. Attendance will be free to community members. As Moran noted, the event will be a great opportunity for those affected by gambling “to bond over this and really get some intense treatment and fellowship.”

Sheila Moran also touched upon the subject of disgrace being typically associated with gambling. Instead of being ashamed of their problem, affected individuals should be reaching out for help. Moran concluded by highlighting that this was the primary goal of Problem Gambling Awareness Month, to raise awareness that problem gambling was a ”real disorder” that needed professional treatment.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.