awareness of the toll-free problem gambling help
line - 1-888-BETSOFF - has always been a primary
goal of the Alliance. Alliance members use various
methods to build this awareness - billboards, speakers'
bureau, public service announcements and the backs
of casino cards and lottery tickets - but some
of the most noticeable ways are through the Alliance's
posters and brochures.
initial goal was to create awareness of the help
line, and that is what our first campaign focused
on," said Gary Gonder, director of communications
for the Missouri Lottery. "The first campaign
highlighted the phone number as the number always
on the side of the problem gambler.
think the campaign has been very successful," he
continued. "The number of calls to the help
line have increased every year since we kicked
off the awareness campaign, and when we go to conferences
or even to schools, people ask if we're the 'betsoff
said the Alliance always will continue to focus
on increasing awareness of the help line, but the
Missouri Lottery is updating the collateral materials
to appeal to the friends and family members of
problem gamblers. The older adult campaign introduced
in August 2001 was the first step in the campaign
average, about 28 percent of the callers to the
help line are third-party callers or people who
are calling about a loved one," Gonder said. "We
believe that these people usually have a stronger
influence on a problem gambler than we do, so we're
hoping through this new campaign that they will
learn where to tell problem gamblers to find help
and also to find help for themselves."
said Missouri residents who are family members
of problem gamblers are eligible to receive free
counseling treatment, but many are unaware of this
new campaigns was kicked off in August
2002 - a general awareness campaign and
a campaign aimed at youth. Both campaigns will
be aimed at friends or family of problem gamblers.
order copies of the new posters and brochures,
send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org or
call (573) 526-7467.