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Support Military Families You Know With These Responsible Gambling Resources

Published: November 13, 2023

While veterans and active military greatly sacrifice in service of their country, their family also gives up so much. They’re the ones who’re left in charge of child-rearing, managing the household, and keeping various affairs in order. And all of this is done while waiting for their loved ones to return home safely. 

Because of the many sacrifices that families all over the country make, November is known as Military Family Appreciation Month. And with veterans being an at risk population for developing a problem with betting or gambling, Pause Before You Play is providing resources that support them and their families.

Studies have shown that veterans are at greater risk for developing a problem with gambling. And here in Ohio, one out of every ten veterans are at risk for a problem with gambling. 

Many veterans develop a problem with gambling during their service when they spend time playing slots, card games, and scratch-offs to relieve stress or boredom and compete with their fellow service members. Veterans are also more likely to experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and can use gambling as a way to cope. 

The warning signs that an individual might be struggling with gambling are not always easy to see. A few signs to look for include:

  • Gambling more often or with more money
  • Withdrawing from relationships
  • Hiding gambling behavior from friends and family
  • Borrowing money to relieve financial distress
  • Gambling more to make up for previous gambling losses

Pause Before You Play has an entire toolkit dedicated to raising awareness about problem gambling and promoting responsible gambling behaviors among the veteran and active military community. It includes an educational handout that family members can read to learn more about problem gambling, print ads, posters, and more. 

There’s also the free two-minute quiz that rates an individual’s risk of problem gambling and the Get Help page which lists various resources and anonymous support groups for veterans, active military, and their families. 

Lastly, trained and understanding operators at the completely confidential Problem Gambling Helpline are available to answer calls from the veteran and active military community and anyone else wondering about their gambling behaviors or those of someone they know. Call the free, 24/7 Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-589-9966 or text 4HOPE to 741741. 

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