Kentuckyʼs Responsible Gambling Education Week (RGEW) takes place the first full week of August each year. The purpose is to raise awareness of responsible gambling behavior in an effort to lessen the amount or the impact of uncontrolled gambling behavior.
About 95 percent of the population gambles for entertainment or recreation with no adverse consequences. However, studies show about one percent of the population is addicted to gambling behavior, and about three percent has a problem with gambling. Problem and addicted gambling — continuing to gamble in the face of negative consequences — can be devastating not only to the individual gambling but also to his or her family, friends, co-workers, and employers.
Kentuckyʼs RGEW is planned by a coalition chaired by a representative of the gambling community — lottery, horse racing, charitable gaming, and casinos — and consisting of representatives from the gambling industry, Kentuckyʼs certified gambler counselors, academics, and the Kentucky Council on Problem Gambling (KYCPG). Since its beginning in 2002, RGEW has been a source of posters and rack cards distributed statewide to raise public awareness about problem and addicted gambling. Additional RGEW activities are media advisories and appearances, video production, and counselor training programs. The RGEW coalition created a simple website to advise individuals of problem and addicted gambling and provide referrals to counselors or Gamblers Anonymous: www.kygamblinghelp.org.