Kansas Introduces Problem-Gambling Campaign

A new $380,000 multimedia campaign will help raise awareness of problem gambling and help gambling addicts get treatment in Kansas. Funded by dedicated tax revenue from the two state-owned casinos, the program will use billboards, radio spots, print and digital ads, a website and television public service announcements.

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services recently launched a 0,000 multimedia campaign to raise public awareness of problem gambling and to help gambling addicts get treatment. Department Secretary Shawn Sullivan said, “This is the ambitious, comprehensive outreach campaign envisioned by the legislature when it provided the funding, and we are extremely proud of this effort.” Sullivan said the campaign will be funded from the .3 million in dedicated tax revenue generated by state-owned casinos in Dodge City, Mulvane and Kansas City, Kansas.

The campaign will use billboards, radio spots, print and digital ads, an updated website and a 30-second television public service announcement.

Last year, 118 people were treated for problem gambling through programs offered by the state agency, and 45 percent of those also reported struggling with substance abuse, primarily alcohol.

Yvonne Bailey-Banks, a Topeka addiction counselor, said the number of clients seeking assistance with gaming addictions had increased at her office. However, she said, there probably are more people in Kansas needing help for a gambling problem than actually are reaching out for assistance.

State Senator Ralph Ostmeyer said, “I’m pleased we’re starting to do something. If people can’t admit a problem exists, they can’t whip it.”