The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc. (FCCG) has a longstanding history in the state, and three decades of experience in the gambling addiction field. The FCCG is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) independent corporation whose primary mission is to increase public awareness about problem and compulsive gambling and to advocate for and provide services and supports to individuals in need of assistance for a gambling problem. The FCCG maintains a neutral stance on the issue of legalized gambling while also seeking to assist citizens in need of problem-gambling-specific supports.
The FCCG operates the statewide Problem Gambling HelpLine service 888-ADMIT-IT, providing free, confidential, and multilingual problem gambling assistance via telephone call, text message, email, and live chat available on its website to thousands of contacts each year, from gamblers and their loved ones, to professionals and affected others, such as employers, mental health treatment providers, educators, law enforcement and judicial professionals, probation departments, bankruptcy and financial counseling organizations, gambling industry operators, state government, policymakers, and others. The FCCG HelpLine is also featured on a mobile app as well as on social media platforms via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn to assure that regardless of one’s comfort level in connecting, s/he can access the help needed.
Resources for Problem Gambling Help Seekers & Professionals
Although the FCCG is recognized by most through its 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine, this is only one of the many services and programs it provides. The 888-ADMIT-IT problem gambling helpline offers a series of free services which are not available anywhere in Florida, online or elsewhere. Help seekers receive timely and updated resources as well as up to the minute problem-gambling-related news, research, and information, along with FCCG programs and services, available for both gamblers and their loved ones.
The FCCG maintains a vast database of resources specifically developed and chosen to assist those in need of help with a gambling problem (both for gamblers and their loved ones), along with addressing the collateral impacts of this addiction. From decades of experience providing help and hope to individuals suffering from a gambling addiction, and in listening to the pleas of its HelpLine callers, the FCCG has grown its resource database to serve nearly every circumstance or situation brought about by problem gambling.
The FCCG HelpLine utilizes a very strict referral system, offering a variety of problem gambling specific programs, services, and local referral resources, to assist individuals with their specific needs, based upon individual circumstances. These services and supports include, without limitation, referrals for professional treatment/counseling services offered through the FCCG’s network of licensed gambling addiction certified mental health treatment providers; self-exclusion forms and policy information for Florida’s land-based gambling operators; web blockers, ad blockers, and other online self-exclusion programs and tools for online gamblers; legal supports, such as community-based legal assistance referrals and advocacy for treatment as an alternative to, or in conjunction with incarceration; hotlines and crisis lines (non-gambling specific social services and emergency assistance); impaired professional services; mental health and addiction supports; population-specific needs (older adults, women, youth, college students, military members/veterans/families); online/mobile gambling/video game/social casino gaming addiction resources; employee assistance programs; online supports and mobile apps; FCCG’s website, mobile app, and social media pages; consumer protection referrals; financial programs and supports which address both immediate and emergency financial needs, such as homelessness, utility bill assistance, asset seizure, foreclosure, or bankruptcy issues, and also non-emergency financial needs, such as debt management programs, debt consolidation, and credit counseling options that can assist families in getting their finances in order, while repaying debts, making restitution, and working a recovery program; as well as an array of other services pending an individual’s circumstances.
The FCCG provides a wide array of written materials to help seekers that are both population and problem gambling specific as well as general in nature. Problem gambling specific brochures, fact sheets, bookmarks, workbooks, toolkits, research and posters are offered in English and Spanish (and Creole in certain instances) and provided through the 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine in a variety of formats, such as hard-copy, digital PDFs, as video or audio files, and discs. FCCG literature offerings serve as a means of reaching out to target populations who may be unable to seek other avenues of help due to a variety of reasons, such as transportation issues, language and/or cultural barriers. The FCCG also provides specific resources through the HelpLine for affected others, loved ones, like spouses, significant others, family members and friends. FCCG HelpLine literature packets, which include multiple population-specific resources for help for both gamblers and loved ones, such as brochures, toolkits, recovery workbooks, and research, are provided to HelpLine contacts immediately at the time of contact in electronic format and are also offered via hard copy through the mail.
FCCG HelpLine Specialists are trained to provide resources catered to the contact’s unique situation, including immediate access to FCCG HelpLine programs that have been developed specifically for Florida help seekers, such as the FCCG’s Online Program for Problem Gamblers (OPPG), the FCCG’s Peer Connect Program, the FCCG’s Financial Debt and Budgeting Toolkit (Budget Tool), Legal Assistance Resources and Supports, and the FCCG’s “A Chance for Change” Recovery Workbooks, which are available only to Florida help seekers.
Additionally, the FCCG 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine furnishes important problem gambling education, information, supports, and training for Florida Professionals, including qualified addictions/mental health/other medical professionals, gambling operators, employers, educators, and others, to assist them in providing services and supports to those negatively affected by gambling within the Sunshine State, as well as in developing problem gambling prevention programs for at-risk populations.
The 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine is an ever-evolving resource for Floridians. The FCCG is committed to personalized service and prides itself on the relationships built during HelpLine contacts, which are often a one-time opportunity to motivate behavioral change, and to share a message of hope that recovery is possible. If you or someone you know has a problem with gambling, please contact the 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine.