Illinois Recognizes Gambling Awareness Month With Programs, Promotions

During this year’s commemoration, the Illinois Department of Human Services has lined up various promotions and programs that will drive efforts to raise awareness on the issue of responsible gambling in the state. So that everyone in the state is aware of what will be happening in March within the gambling industry, some buildings in the downtown Chicago area have been fitted with teal lights to light up during this period. This will no doubt draw attention and the majority of people that see them will want to know what they are about. In addition to that, artists have been invited to take part in a contest aimed at showcasing the power of creativity. 

According to the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), the March Madness games of 2024 will have a characteristic teal theme. The IDHS is also aware that there are people who have already been heavily affected by gambling addiction – treatment providers will also be part of the campaign to reverse the psychological effects and point people to where the help is. For those who have been on a journey of recovery from any form of addiction, the stands a just a step towards freedom from addiction. 

Many people fall into the suffering from gambling disorders without ever drawing attention to themselves. They go through the different stages of addiction without anyone noticing. Individuals struggling with problem gambling will hide their habits from loved ones until it is too late. With efforts by the IDHS, the goal is that all residents of Illinois know that they have hope for recovery. Families too, can rest assured that their kin who are struggling with gambling addiction can be rescued. 

Speaking on the role of his organization in the advancement of the sports betting Illinois industry, the secretary-designate of IDHS, Dulce Quintero, stated that the message of safe gambling needs to be passed all the time. Even though the authorities are aware of the organizations that offer help to victims of problem gambling, a lot of potential beneficiaries are not aware of their existence. The campaigns need to go on to reach as many people as possible. The more people are touched by these campaigns, the easier it will be for those who require assistance to receive it. 

Quintero reports that March is an important period for IDHS and its partners because it provides a platform for raising awareness for resources used in supporting gambling disorder recovery. The management of IDHS is grateful to BOMA Chicago for assisting in its efforts to raise awareness through the lighting of the city skyline in teal. Those who would like to see the seal lights should make it to downtown Chicago between March 25 and 31; around the scheduled period for the 2024 men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments. 

March art contest for 14 and older

The juried contest is an art competition for the residents of Illinois who are at least 14 years old. There is a larger state’s campaign dubbed “Are You Really Winning?” which the art contest is a part of. Apart from providing a platform on which artists can showcase their abilities, the contest will also offer inspiration to those struggling with problem gambling. A wide range of media has been approved for the art submissions; 

  • Paintings
  • Drawings
  • Mixed media
  • Prints
  • Digital art
  • Collage
  • Photography
  • Textiles
  • Glass
  • Graphic design
  • Ceramics
  • Sculpture
  • Illustration

The submissions will undergo a rigorous assessment process before the winners are announced in June through a display. Detailed information on the art contest can be obtained from the organizer’s official website. It is a good thing that the contest embraces all manner of art forms to make sure that no one with a creative stroke is left out. There is therefore no shame in creating something in an art style that has not been seen before. 

Hundreds of clinicians trained in Illinois

Data collected by Health Resources in Action reveals that 4% of people residing in Illinois struggle with a certain degree of gambling disorders – this is approximately 400,000 people. Based on the rate at which the industry is evolving, and the risk assessment in the industry, this number is expected to go up by around 7%. Additional analysis of the collected data indicates that Illinois is the fourth largest contributor for chats, texts, and calls via the 800-GAMBLING national hotline.

The campaigns to curb problem gambling require a large number of staff members to execute. This explains the training of over 650 clinicians by IDHS to cater to problems of gambling. The IDHS Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (SUPR) is tasked with the role of facilitating this training. To make sure that the cost and accessibility of these kinds of treatment are within the reach of those that it is designed for, it is important to ensure that the training problem is focused upon.  

According to the resources lined up by SUPR, training alone is not sufficient. The organization has arranged for a summit that will be held over a period of two days and whose main agenda will be problem gambling. This event will be supported by a 30-hour long gambling counselor training course as well as 3 community/cultural-focused seminars. It is obvious that these sessions are expensive, but the cost of treatment for gambling addiction far outweighs any preventive measures. 


Illinois is privileged to host a large number of resources and programs that are effective in the rehabilitation and treatment of problem gamblers. Those who would like to take charge of their diagnosis and recovery process discreetly can do so with available resources. Self-assessment tools and digital self-help programs are important tools even for those who are seeking help on behalf of third parties. The large database of resources provides a tailored solution for every gambling enthusiast; even with no immediate use for knowledge and resources, this information always comes in handy.