March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month

Maryland Lottery and Gaming issued the following new release for Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM). PGAM is a “nationwide grassroots campaign, held annually in March, that seeks to increase public awareness of problem gambling and promote prevention, treatment, and recovery services.”

“Putting an emphasis on responsible play is a fundamentally important piece of our work,” said Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin. “It’s something we keep in mind at all times, but especially during March in support of Problem Gambling Awareness Month.”

Later this year, the Maryland Lottery plans to submit its application for the Responsible Gambling Verification Program, which is jointly operated by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL). The program has three levels, Planning, Implementation and Sustaining, which represent various phases of development for responsible gambling programs.

“We’re documenting our efforts to be recognized at the Sustaining level, which is where lotteries examine their responsible play initiatives and look for ways to enhance them,” Martin said. “As we do this, we’re examining all aspects of our operations, including employee and retailer training, public education and the development of our products and marketing materials.”

The Lottery will run an advertising campaign during March that supports Problem Gambling Awareness Month, and the Responsible Play page of mdlottery.com features advice and links to available resources.

Maryland Lottery and Gaming operates the Voluntary Exclusion Program (VEP) for anyone who wishes to self-exclude from the Lottery, casinos, sports wagering, daily fantasy sports or electronic instant bingo halls.

The State of Maryland provides additional resources at no cost to Maryland residents through the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling. Information about Center of Excellence programs is available confidentially by calling 1-800-GAMBLER, or visiting helpmygamblingproblem.org.

Among the resources available are peer recovery support specialists who have experienced gambling problems themselves and now work to help others.

“The VEP is often a great first step for problem gamblers. The problem gambler also has to take other steps to address the addiction,” said Ken Wolfson, a peer recovery support specialist with the Center of Excellence. “Changes have to be made to address the root causes of the behavior. To move from the “deterrent” level that the VEP offers, clients can deal with underlying causes of problem gambling through no-cost treatment.”

The Center of Excellence, a program of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, coordinates a statewide network of licensed problem gambling counselors. No-cost treatment is available to Maryland residents regardless of their insurance status.

The Center of Excellence and Maryland’s six casinos have released statements for Problem Gambling Awareness Month:

Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling:

“While many people can gamble recreationally without problems, some Marylanders struggle with gambling behaviors which can cause negative consequences not only for themselves, but for those they care about. With online and mobile sports betting now in place, there is greater accessibility and opportunity to bet on more than just your favorite Team but on every play of the game right from your mobile device in your own living room. This ease of access may potentially increase the risk of developing a gambling problem. If you, or someone you know is struggling with problems caused by gambling, the Center can connect you to resources including no-cost counseling, a peer recovery support specialist with lived experience, or support groups, all of which can help with your road to recovery. Simply call, text, or chat 1-800-GAMBLER 24/7 or go to helpmygamblingproblem.org.”

Ocean Downs Casino:

“Ocean Downs is committed to bringing awareness to problem gambling. Part of our commitment is realized by providing additional training and information to all team members. Ocean Downs aligns itself with various partners inside and out to ensure our knowledge and resources are of the highest levels. With an informed team, trained to look for problem gambling signs we can better service our community in engaging in fun, healthy recreation.”

Live! Casino & Hotel:

“We are steadfast in our commitment to promote responsible gaming in and outside of our property. We are proud to partner with the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency and the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling to spread awareness and share resources for those dealing with problem gambling.”

MGM National Harbor:

“MGM National Harbor, MGM Resorts and BetMGM continue to place problem gambling awareness and responsible gaming as a top priority. This commitment is in the best interest of our employees, guests, and the entire industry. As a gaming and hospitality leader, we own the responsibility of promoting and sharing resources designed to support early intervention, while funding research to further understand the potential risks associated with gambling. Through these efforts and community collaboration, our goal is to reduce stigma related to gambling addiction and foster a more supportive environment for individuals and their families who are seeking help.”

Hollywood Casino Perryville:

“Our commitment to promoting responsible gaming is personal — our team members live in the same communities as our patrons and, therefore, have a vested interest in offering sympathetic, discrete assistance to anyone who approaches asking for help, and they’re trained to identify outward signs of problem gambling.”

Rocky Gap Casino Resort:

“Rocky Gap Casino Resort & Golf’s partnership with the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem

Gambling and our continued support of the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) makes it

possible to provide a memorable and pleasant experience for our guests. Guidance and training do the important job of helping Rocky Gap identify and report the signs of problem gaming. These partnerships are key to our success in providing a responsible safe experience at our casino.”

Horseshoe Casino Baltimore:

“Horseshoe Casino Baltimore and Caesars Entertainment remain steadfast in our responsible gaming

programming. For more than 30 years, Caesars has been at the forefront of responsible gaming,

providing specialized training for our team members and funding for non-profits for responsible gaming research, awareness and education. In Maryland, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore is proud to support the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling.”

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

www.dayofthebook.com

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.

LIVE PERFORMANCES By: CULTURE Feat. Kenyatta Hill, EXCO LEVI, IMAGE BAND, RAS LIDJ REGG'GO with Special Guest SUGAR BEAR FROM E.U. & MORE! & MORE!

MUSIC By: DJ ABLAZE, DJ SMALLY & NAJ SUPREME

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KIDS 12 & UNDER FREE!!!

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