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  2002 Press Releases  

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Jan Costello
Phone: 217-785-9020, TTY: 1-800-252-8966

October 16, 2002

Agencies Develop Materials to Educate Seniors About Problem Gambling

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department on Aging and Illinois Department of Human Services are collaborating on a public awareness campaign to educate seniors about the risks of becoming problem gamblers.

"Seniors are vulnerable to compulsive or late on-set gambling due to boredom, health problems, depression, death of a spouse and a host of other factors," said Margo E. Schreiber, Director of the Illinois Department on Aging. "It is only fair that with the proliferation and accessibility of gambling that they be informed about potential negative consequences."

"Our goal is to provide information so seniors make conscious, informed decisions about whether they want to gamble," said Illinois Department of Human Services Secretary Linda Reneé Baker. "We also want to provide information to seniors and their families about where to turn if a problem does develop."

The campaign, titled "When Gambling Is No Longer Fun" includes brochures, videos, and public service announcements. The materials will be distributed throughout the state to senior centers and other locales serving seniors.

The new outreach materials offer information about responsible gambling, various forms of gambling, symptoms of problem gambling, and referrals to gambling hotlines and professional help. Many seniors, Schreiber noted, may not want to ask for help because they fear losing their independence, so it is good information for family members as well.

She said the outreach materials include referrals to resources such Gam-Anon, Gamblers Anonymous, the National Council on Problem Gambling, The Outreach Foundation, Illinois Casino Gaming Association, Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery and the Illinois Council on Problem and Compulsive Gambling.

For more information or to request seniors and gambling public awareness materials, call the Illinois Department on Aging’s Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 (Voice and TTY).

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For more information, call the Illinois Department on Aging's Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 (Voice and TTY).



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