Problem Gambling

National Problem Gambling Helpline Modernization Project

This modernization project will enable NCPG to increase awareness of and improve access to high-quality services received by individuals, families and communities impacted by problem gambling.

National Problem Gambling Helpline Network

In 2021, calls to the National Problem Gambling Helpline increased by 43%, texts increased by 59.8% and chat volume increased by 84.1%. As states expand legalized sports betting, we expect these numbers to continue to grow.

It’s crucial that the people reaching out for help are quickly connected with excellent care. As a unified national helpline network, 1-800-GAMBLER will facilitate the process of directing people impacted by problem gambling to resources and local referrals.

Helpline Core Principles

Mission

To tie together state and regional call centers to ensure every jurisdiction is covered and that every caller always has free access to help.

Purpose

To provide a single point of access to problem gambling help for people anywhere in the U.S. via call, text or chat, 24/7/365.

Vision

To create a caller-centric system that facilitates access to help and allows streamlined marketing across all materials, regardless of the organization or location.

Goals of the Helpline Modernization Project:

  • Improving access to useful services for people who are struggling.
  • Ensuring that the helpline is held to a high standard of care, 24/7/365.

Helpline Modernization Forums

As the modernization project rolls out, input from key stakeholders is crucial. To make sure that we hear every perspective, we’re hosting monthly virtual forums where we’ll give an update on recent helpline activities and open the floor to questions and feedback.

A young woman participating in an online meeting

Register for March Helpline Modernization Forum

Join us on March 7th at 1:00 pm ET for the Monthly National Problem Gambling Helpline Modernization Forum. At the top of the hour, NCPG Staff will give an update on the status of the National Problem Gambling Helpline Modernization Project activities and will then open the floor to questions and comments from the audience.

National Problem Gambling Helpline Analytics Dashboard

The National Problem Gambling Helpline Analytics Dashboard serves as a tool to track data and analyze traffic to the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network.

1-800-GAMBLER Promotional Toolkit

The 1-800-GAMBLER Promotional Toolkit — which includes brand guidelines, social media shareables, logos and more — is designed to unify core messaging for the helpline. Offering a single number to call from anywhere in the United States will make it easier for people who need help to get that help.

Helpline Modernization FAQs

Number Harmonization

On June 22, 2022, 1-800-GAMBLER was officially named as the new National Problem Gambling Helpline number. Routing updates were completed during the week of July 4th.

Both 1-800-522-4700 and 1-800-GAMBLER are and will remain active in every state. All calls to either number are now routed to the same call center.

NOTE: NCPG does not dictate which numbers are used by stakeholders in each state.

1-800-GAMBLER is currently active in all 50 states. Callers can begin using this number immediately.

Call Routing

Calls made to the National Problem Gambling Helpline are routed using the area code of the caller’s phone number. This routing method is used by nearly all helpline services in the United States.

As of 2022, it is an infringement on federal personal privacy and telecommunications laws to collect the physical location of an individual making a wireless phone call. The only phone service sanctioned by the government to automatically use geolocation for call routing is 911.

NCPG will continue to work closely with all network call centers to ensure they have up-to-date warm transfer and referral information for callers from other states. This communication will be the safety net to protect all callers.

In states with an NCPG Affiliate Member, the Affiliate has the authorization and responsibility to determine helpline call routing, subject to NCPG Helpline Policies and Procedures. In states without an NCPG Affiliate Member, the National Council on Problem Gambling will maintain responsibility for the helpline routing.

Absolutely! Calls made to the 1-800-522-4700 have and will continue to be routed to the appropriate line in the caller’s state. Calls made to 1-800-GAMBLER will also be routed to the appropriate line in the caller’s state. The “appropriate lines” are determined by the affiliates in each state, given that the designated call center meets NCPG’s Helpline Policies & Procedures.

Out-Of-State Calls

This is a common issue of many regional, state and national helplines and referral resources.

NCPG works closely with all network contact centers to ensure they have up-to-date warm transfer and referral information for callers from other states. This communication will be the safety net to protect all callers.

All calls that come through 1-800-GAMBLER are routed to the designated contact center for that state. Each contact center is responsible for managing their own lists of referrals, language services, telehealth, etc. If you’re curious about the services in your state, please contact your NCPG Affiliate Member and/or contact center.

Available Services

All calls that come through 1-800-GAMBLER are routed to the designated contact center for that state. Each contact center is responsible for managing their own lists of referrals, language services, telehealth, etc. If you’re curious about the services in your state, please contact your NCPG Affiliate Member and/or contact center.

All calls that come through 1-800-GAMBLER are routed to the designated contact center for that state. Each contact center is responsible for managing their own lists of referrals, language services, telehealth, etc. If you’re curious about the services in your state, please contact your NCPG Affiliate Member and/or contact center.

Marketing and Advertisement

NCPG encourages the use of 1-800-GAMBLER in all multi-state advertising and marketing efforts.

It is important to note that each state has different regulations and policies regarding helpline numbers. regulations about helpline numbers. While NCPG does advocate for and support consistent marketing nationwide, you must follow the helpline regulations as outlined in your state.

Short Answer: No, the use of 1-800-GAMBLER is not required by NCPG.

However, it is the hope of NCPG that members, states, organizations, etc. will promote 1-800-GAMBLER as the National Problem Gambling Helpline number in their advertising to improve brand recognition and awareness of services.

If a state chooses to continue promoting its own number, calls made to the National number will continue to be directed to the contact center designated by the NCPG Affiliate Member.

Yes. NCPG has launched an awareness toolkit to help make advertising the National Problem Gambling Helpline easy.

Contact Center Reporting

Revised contact center reporting requirements are still in development.

NCPG is working with the Helpline Committee and other stakeholders to develop guidance regarding minimum, standard data collection points for contact centers. The goal is to develop a simple electronic system to collect data from participating contact centers in a way that makes effective use of the data but does not increase work for contact centers.

One of NCPG’s primary goals is to advocate for federal funding to support problem gambling efforts just as other addictions, mental health concerns and public health issues have dedicated funding. In order to do so, nationwide data collection is essential.