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are made by gamblers seeking help for themselves, the rest being made by spouses, family members, friends, therapists, employers, etc., about a problem gambler. Typical services provided by help lines include offering telephone counseling, usually by experienced master's-degree-level counselors (although several help lines lack a professional staff and are concerned about liability issues), information (e.g., about Gamblers Anonymous, Gam-Anon, problem gambling research), referrals to treatment providers, credit and debt counseling referrals, and crisis intervention (some transfer the call directly to a crisis line). Some programs perform other activities, such as gambling education and public awareness, prevention activities, and professional training.
About 60 percent of help lines receive most or all of their funding from the state in which they operate. Funds to operate gambling help lines are also provided by the gambling industry, corporations, and miscellaneous other sources such as memberships, individual contributions, and in-kind donations. Help lines advertise their call-in number in different ways, including running banners on video lottery terminals when not in play (South Dakota); slot machine stickers, posters, and pens (Delaware); billboards (Delaware and Louisiana); bus tails (Delaware); telephone recordings at the Department of Social Services while the caller is on hold (Delaware); targeted mailings to professionals, clergy, and corrections personnel (Minnesota); back of grocery store receipts (Minnesota); the New York Yankees' official billboard outside the stadium (New York); part of collateral materials provided by other agencies (Texas); church newsletters (Texas); postings at Alcoholics Anonymous meeting sites (Texas); listing in Card Player magazine (California); and posters conspicuously located inside casinos.
Most help lines cover the entire state, without restriction as to area or population served, and some take calls from nearby states, particularly when a neighboring state does not have its own help line. Because the national number will attempt to find help for any individual in the United States, in theory, no state is entirely without coverage. This diversity of ways of reaching a help line does not mean that all callers will receive equally effective services, however, and confusion can arise. For example, a problem gambler in Rhode Island may call the Rhode Island problem gam-