about us

Our mission is to lead state and national stakeholders in the development of comprehensive policy and programs for all those affected by problem gambling.  Our purpose is to serve as the national advocate for programs and services to assist people and families affected by problem gambling.  And our vision is to improve health and wellness by reducing the personal, social and economic costs of problem gambling.

The National Council is neither for nor against legalized gambling.  NCPG is organized with 3 classes of members: state affiliate, corporate and individual. NCPG concentrates efforts on the national level, while the state affiliates work at the state and local level.

Major National Council programs include:

  1. The National Problem Gambling Helpline Network (1-800-GAMBLER), a single national access point to local resources.
  2. The annual National Conference on Problem Gambling, the world’s oldest and largest problem gambling-specific conference.
  3. National Problem Gambling Awareness Month (annually in March).
  4. Holiday Lottery Responsible Gambling Campaign (annually in December).
  5. Providing education on problem gambling issues to Federal, state, tribal and international governments and agencies.
  6. Distribution of information on problem gambling and gambling addiction treatment, research and recovery.


The organization was founded in 1972 by Msgr. Joseph A. Dunne and Dr. Robert Custer, among others. From the outset the Council established two principles that remain in effect today: that the organization would be the advocate for problem gamblers and their families, and that it would take no position for or against legalized gambling. This stance is encompassed today in our vision and mission statements above. A history of the NCPG from 1972 to 1985 by Msgr. Dunne was published in the Journal of Gambling Studies, Vol. 1, Issue 1. Additional milestones:

  • 1984: International Gambling Counselor Certification Program began as NCPG committee seeking to ensure excellence, effectiveness of counselors.
  • 1985: First National Conference on Gambling Behavior held in NYC
  • 1985: National Problem Gambling Helpline established
  • 2003: National Problem Gambling Awareness Week (NPGAW) started
  • 2009: International Holiday Lottery Responsible Gaming Campaign founded
  • 2012: Published first-in-the-US Internet Responsible Gambling Standards; endorsed by NCLGS
  • 2013: Published first triennial Problem Gambling Services Survey, partnering with APGSA
  • 2013: Created Social Games Consumer Protection Guidelines
  • 2014: NPGAW expanded to Month
  • 2015: Added Text and Chat to Helpline services
  • 2015: Created new Responsible Gaming programs:
    –Internet Gaming Compliance Assessment Program (iCAP)
    –NASPL-NCPG Lottery Responsible Gaming Verification Program (RGV)
  • 2016: Hosted first Summit on Sports & Gambling
  • 2017: GAO report on gambling addiction in military published, recommends routine screening; based on NCPG-championed legislation
  • 2017: Launched President’s Circle initiative
  • 2017: Hosted first Tribal Summit on Responsible Gaming
  • 2018: Responsible Gaming Principles for Sports Gambling Legislation 
  • 2018  National Survey on Gambling Attitudes and Gambling Experiences (NGAGE) 1.0 study
  • 2018  First annual Problem Gambling Advocacy Day
  • 2018  Successful provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that requires the Department of Defense to restore questions on gambling addiction to the annual health screenings for our more than one million active-duty personnel; passed with bi-partisan support
  • 2018: First year all 50 states and Canadian provincial lotteries participated in Holiday Lottery Campaign
  • 2020 Guidelines for Cashless Payments
  • 2021 Created and launched OperationResponsibleGambling.org
  • 2021 NGAGE 2.0 study
  • 2021  Holiday Lottery Campaign renamed Gift Responsibly Campaign
  • 2022  50th Anniversary year
  • 2022 Created and launched ResponsiblePlay.org
  • 2022 Obtained license to use 1-800-GAMBLER for National Problem Gambling Helpline
  • 2022 First year of Agility Grants for Problem Gambling Prevention Programs
  • 2023  20th year for PGAM

To join as a member, click here to view our Membership Types and Benefits.
To support NCPG with a tax-deductible contribution, click here to make on online donation or download a donation form.