Helpline Modernization FAQ’s

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.  

If you have concerns or questions about the routing in your state, please reach out to NCPG Director of Programs, Jaime Costello at JaimeC@NCPGambling.org or (202) 470-1788. 

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 Gambilng will maintain responsibility for the helpline call routing. 

Using the Old Number (1-800-544-4700)

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 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.  

All calls that come through 1-800-GAMBLER are routed to the designated call center for that state.  Each call 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 state affiliate and/or call center. 

Available Services

All calls that come through 1-800-GAMBLER are routed to the designated call center for that state.  Each call 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 state affiliate and/or call center. 

All calls that come through 1-800-GAMBLER are routed to the designated call center for that state.  Each call 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 state affiliate and/or call center. 

Marketing and Advertising

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. 

However, it is the hope of NCPG that Affiliates, 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 for those struggling.

If a state chooses to continue promoting its own number, calls made to the National number will continue to be directed to the call center designated by the affiliate. 

Yes.  NCPG will be working to develop collateral (logos, materials, etc.) that will be made available in the Fall of 2022 to advertise the National Problem Gambling Helpline. 

Call Center Reporting

Revised call 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 call centers. The goal is to develop a simple electronic system to collect data from participating call centers in a way that makes effective use of the data but does not increase work for call 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.