How North Carolina Promotes Education and Awareness About Problem Gambling

How North Carolina Promotes Education and Awareness About Problem Gambling
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

The start of North Carolina online sports betting has been a big success for the state in its first week. Data shows that residents have utilized almost 370,000 accounts since eight sportsbooks went live with their apps on Monday afternoon.

However, in order for it to become a long-term success, the North Carolina sports betting market will need to be sustainable. One way state leaders are looking to achieve that is by developing programs and initiatives that promote responsible gambling practices and educate the public about problem gambling behaviors.

North Carolina’s launch coincides with Problem Gambling Awareness Month, a campaign established by the National Council on Problem Gambling to make people more aware of the issue and call on healthcare providers to screen their patients for such behaviors. Two weeks ago, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed a proclamation declaring the state’s observance of it this month.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, more than 1 in 20 North Carolina adults and as many as 1 in 10 youths may exhibit compulsive gambling, gambling addiction or other problem behaviors. Those behaviors affect more than just those individuals, as the NCDHHS data indicates that between 7 and 20 others may be impacted by one person’s behaviors.

The department oversees the state’s problem gambling program.

“Promoting healthy behaviors and providing prevention education at all ages helps to decrease the stigma associated with problem gambling,” said Kelly Crosbie, MSW, LCSW, the department’s director of the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Use Services. “We are engaging with community partners and educators to increase outreach to spread the message that free help is available and recovery is possible if gambling becomes more than a game.”

We at take responsible gaming seriously. Check out our Responsible Gambling in North Carolina article. There you'll find expert tips in responsible gaming and some great resources to help all who need it.

Special Focus Paid To Youth Education

North Carolina lawmakers sought to address problem gambling prevention when they passed House Bill 347 to legalize sports betting last year. The law mandates that $2 million generated from the 18% tax on operator revenues be used to increase awareness and treatment of problem gambling.

State officials have focused much of their attention on problem gambling in increasing awareness among North Carolina adolescents, teens and young adults. Those efforts include NCDHHS grants to middle and high schools as well as community groups to incorporate gambling and gaming into their prevention programs. The state is also working with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and Freedom House to educate 14,000 seventh graders each year through their health classes. In addition, it works with several in-state colleges, including UNC, Duke, High Point and Chowan University, to offer education for their students.

Funding is also being provided to the tune of $750,000 for the Gambling Research and Policy Initiative at East Carolina University.

How To Find Help In North Carolina

Betting should supplement your engagement with your favorite sport or team, not supplant it. Check with your favorite North Carolina sports betting apps to find out how you can set limits on the amount you can wager or the time you spend on it each day.

The North Carolina State Lottery Commission, which regulates sports betting in the state, has also established a self-exclusion program where people can notify the state and operators that they want to step away from betting on sports or parimutuel racing for a year, three years, five years or for the rest of their lives. Any active account is suspended during the self-exclusion period, and those on the list cannot create new accounts.

According to the lottery commission, seven people had already registered through Wednesday. To register or learn more about the program, visit

Help is available around the clock in North Carolina for individuals who believe they may have a problem gambling issue or know someone who might. For more information, visit the NCDHHS website for support online, text “morethanagamenc” to 53342 or call 1-877-718-5543.



Steve Bittenbender
Sports Betting Expert & Insider

As a writer and analyst for, Steve not only covers gaming news and developments in North Carolina but also provides insights into what they mean for bettors, licensed operators and the state. A veteran journalist with 25 years of experience covering sports, politics and business, Steve has reported on the gambling industry intently over the past five years.

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