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The Center

The Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling (the Center) is a program of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and funded by the Maryland Department of Health’s Behavioral Health Administration. 

The Center promotes healthy and informed choices regarding gambling and problem gambling through public awareness, training and education, prevention, technical assistance to the behavioral health care system, peer recovery support, research and public policy. It does so by working closely with appropriate state stakeholders and bringing together experts from a variety of disciplines including psychiatry, medicine, epidemiology, social work, law and others.


“Responsible gaming, starts with you. Set a limit of time and money you’re willing to spend gambling before you go to the casino and make sure you stick to it.”

—Keith Whyte, Executive Director NCPG

For most people gambling is a form of entertainment. Many, if not most people, do not realize that gambling may pose the same risk as alcohol and other drugs for becoming an addiction. A gambling addiction can have the same devastating consequences as alcohol and drug addictions, destroying families, finances, careers and lives. For some people, the desire to gamble becomes so strong it overtakes moral values and results in crimes to obtain more money for gambling.

As more gambling opportunities become available in Maryland, it is important that the public is informed about not only the benefits of gambling, but also the potential addictive risks. To ensure the citizens of Maryland receive this important information, The Center maintains an on-going public awareness campaign with TV and radio PSAs, YouTube videos, digital media, special websites, billboards and bus posters, to communicate the signs, symptoms and risks of problem gambling.


The Center is also committed to a multidisciplinary research program to specifically study the impact of gambling and problem gambling on public health.



As a gambling problem develops, it becomes more and more devastating, potentially evolving into a crisis situation impacting family members and friends. It is very important to get help as soon as possible as this condition escalates rapidly even resulting in incarceration and suicide. The Center’s 24/7 free and confidential helpline is a great way to start getting help.


In addition to general public awareness, The Center is spearheading a number of prevention and education programs targeting at-risk groups such as teens, college students, sports gamblers and different minority populations. The Center is networking with key stakeholders including treatment providers, the criminal justice system, EAP’s, faith based communities, and school systems.


    • Recognize that gambling can become a problem, and understand the difference between low risk/responsible gambling and high risk/problem gambling
    • Know the signs and symptoms of gambling problems
    • Trust that treatment works and know how to get help.