Highlights of Compulsive Gambling Public Awareness and Education Campaign

September 1, 1998 – December 31, 2019

Since September 1998 when the Public Awareness Campaign began, the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling has been able to provide the following to Wisconsin residents:

24-hour Helpline:

  • Answered 235,755 calls from the 24-hour Helpline from September 1, 1998 to December 31, 2019.(1998 Fourth Quarter-1,686 calls; 1999– 4,742 calls; 2000-5,052 calls; 2001-5,195 calls; 2002-7,550 calls; 2003-8,332calls; 2004-9,407 calls; 2005-10,049 calls; 2006-9,206 calls; 2007-9,341 calls; 2008-12,946 calls; 2009-14,604 calls; 2010-14,380 calls; 2011-13,528 calls; 2012-14,464 calls; 2013-13,945 calls; 2014-14,731 calls; 2015-14,690 calls; 2016-13081 calls; 2017-12,674 calls; 2018-13,869 calls; 2019-12,283)
  • Continued to increase Helpline services from initial development provided by funding from the Cornerstone Foundation and the Oneida Tribe.
  • Increased telephone directory listings from 15 to over 125.
  • Developed and implemented WCPG website; received 80,595 hits.
  • Calls to the Helpline have continued to increase each year since the Public Awareness Campaign began.
  • There have been 30,648 referrals since September 1998.
  • As a result of the Public Awareness Campaign, we have been able to send 9,852 packets of information to compulsive gamblers, their families and friends.
  • Answered calls from the chat line through wi-problemgamblers.org
  • Answered calls on the text line number at 850-888-HOPE.
  • Ads on yellowbook.com

Media Awareness Campaign:

  • Developed fourteen awareness posters and distributed 165,000 of these throughout the state.
  • Provided 4,500-4,700 newspaper, radio and television interviews throughout the state.
  • Developed, printed, and distributed 185,000 booklets, “Is Gambling Affecting Your Life?”
  • Bus signage was developed for the outside of buses for cities throughout Wisconsin including: Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, Madison, Green Bay, Eau Claire, Superior, Wausau, Appleton, Stevens Point, Janesville, Beloit, La Crosse, Manitowoc and Sheboygan.
  • Pump toppers for “Gas Pump” advertising were developed and implemented.  Pump toppers were placed in locations throughout the state where bus signage was not available.
  • Took part in Wisconsin Public Television’s “Teen Connection” program on two different occasions.
  • Three-30 second public service announcements were distributed to television stations throughout the state.
  • Yearly news conferences in the five main media markets in the state.
  • Developed and made accessible a “resource” library.
  • Developed and distributed over 225,000 brochures, “What is Compulsive Gambling?”
  • Initiated billboard signage at several locations throughout the state.
  • Developed and implemented signage in bathroom stalls at eleven casinos and other locations throughout the state.
  • Developed and implemented bus shelter signage in Milwaukee.
  • Developed and implemented signage in bathrooms in Green Bay and Appleton at restaurants and bars.
  • Distributed magnets, tokens, computer dusters, fortune cookies, magnifiers, magnetic picture frames, letter openers, pens/highlighters, oven sticks, mirrors, post-it notes, note clips, whistle key-chains, pencils and sharpeners, piggy banks, backscratchers, calendars, and index cards, etc. as public awareness “tools”.
  • Distributed an informational letter to all the judges and district attorneys throughout the state on Problem Gambling.
  • Developed and maintained relationships throughout the state with various groups including Aging Groups, School Personnel, Corrections Officers, District Attorneys, Public Defenders, Social Workers, Counselors, Hmong Population, Employee Assistance Programs, Tribes and Casinos.
  • Provided two radio spots during Green Bay Packers pre-season games.
  • Formed and continue a partnership with the State Lottery to provide additional access to our 800 number. The lottery provided radio ads and newspaper ads in 2008-2019.
  • Published and distributed annually public awareness informational booklet.
  • Provided Public Awareness to approximately 195,000 people through speaking engagements and exhibits (2002-2019).
  • Article and ads published in Teaching Today and senior newspapers throughout the state.
  • In-kind ads were placed in Aging and Disability Resource Center’s newsletter, Senior Scene and Rock County Council on Aging, Senior Review.
  • Increased our social media presence through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest You Tube and Snap Chat.

High School Educational Curriculum:

  • Updated and printed 500 educational curriculums targeted at middle and high school students.
  • Sent 2,000 informational letters to all middle and high school principals and superintendents in the state.
  • Sent 500+ curriculums to schools throughout the state at their request.
  • Assisted schools with presentations when requested.
  • Developed and sent a follow-up survey to assist in continued distribution of the curriculum.
  • Updating current curriculum to include updated research and trends in 2015.
  • Hired part time Outreach Coordinator to work with schools.
  • Outreach programs reached 1,807 students during 2019.

Training of Human Service Professionals:

  • Developed and implemented a training program for therapists, counseling agencies, and others, including basic, advanced and specialized trainings.
  • Continue to update Phase program as needed in 2019.
  • Developed and printed training manual. Update and revise as required.
  • Developed program to “train the trainers” throughout the state.
  • Developed and maintain a master list of persons/agencies within the state of Wisconsin who are qualified to provide training, education, treatment or public information, at various levels, for use by such groups as EAP programs, human resource personnel, AODA personnel, school counselors, treatment providers and civic and church groups.
  • From September 1, 1998 to December 31, 2019 we provided 3,472 Units of training.
  • Provided trainings to tribal, gaming, Physician’s Assistance conference, EAP, Dept. of Correction employees and others.

Statewide Conference:

  • Planned and implemented twenty annual statewide conferences on the issue of compulsive gambling.  Planning continues on the 21st conference.
  • Increased attendance from 77 at the 1999 conference to 156 in 2009.  Over 2,584 people have attended the Annual Conference from 1999 through 2019.
  • Hosted national experts in the field to provide keynotes and workshops.
  • Hosted the 2012 National Conference on Problem Gambling in Milwaukee. Over 400 people attended.

Mini-Grants for Community Based Activities:

  • Provided mini-grants that will enable individuals or agencies to provide specific public awareness, educational, informational, and various activities on compulsive gambling at smaller levels within their communities.  This will enhance the Statewide Public Awareness program.
  • Developed the grant process, requirements and application.
  • Awarded twenty-seven mini-grants to enhance the WCPG Public Awareness Program. These grants were used to inform adolescents and their educators on the issue of compulsive gambling. Ads were published in senior citizen newspapers/newsletters and informational place mats were provided to nutrition sites and other events for senior citizens.  Ads and articles ran in the “School News” paper throughout the state. Billboards, radio ads and printed materials were developed through a grant in Northern Wisconsin. Awareness campaign was developed at a local university along with a survey on college age gambling. A mini-grant at a local university allowed students to create awareness videos on problem gambling disorders.

Needs Assessment Survey:

  • WCPG conducted a statewide needs assessment on the addiction of compulsive gambling.  The purpose of this survey was to assess what areas of research are most needed in Wisconsin regarding compulsive gambling.

Strategic Plan:

  • During the summer of 2018 the WCPG did a one day strategic planning session to give the Council direction for the next two to three years.


  • Conducted initial meetings and reviewed information for potential research projects.

Concerned About Yourself or a Loved One?

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