The Oregon Health Authority, Health Systems Division partnered with the Center for Health and Safety Culture at Montana State University to assess the current culture in Oregon related to problem gambling. People across the state have a unique opportunity to help prevent problem gambling in their communities by using the resources provided here. Helping others reflect on their own behaviors and knowledge about gambling and its risks, establishing guidelines for responsible gambling, and provide the resources necessary if someone is concerned about their own or someone else’s gambling behavior can help prevent devastating consequences in your communities. Renewal of one’s life and relationships is also possible, and there are many FREE, supportive treatment resources available in Oregon. For more information, contact Problem Gambling Statewide Prevention & Outreach Specialist Roxann Jones.

The Brain Connection

Gambling can have a similar impact on the brain as alcohol and other drugs, affecting the reward network in the brain. Check out this video to learn more about the impact of gambling on the brain. Learn more at

Responsible Gambling Guidelines

If you choose to gamble, do so for entertainment purposes.If your gambling is no longer an enjoyable activity, then ask yourself why you are still “playing”?

Treat the money you lose as the cost of your entertainment Treat any winnings as a bonus.

Set a dollar limit and stick to it Decide before you go not only what you can “afford” to lose, but how much you want to spend. Do not change your mind after losing.

Set a time limit and stick to it Decide how much of your time you want to allow for gambling. Leave when you reach the time limit whether you are winning or losing.

Expect to lose The odds are that you will lose. Accept loss as part of the game.

Make it a private rule not to gamble on creditDo not borrow money to gamble.

Create balance in your life Gambling should not interfere with or substitute for friend, family, work or other worthwhile activities.

Avoid “chasing” lost money The more you try to recoup your losses the larger your losses will be.

Don’t gamble as a way to cope with emotional or physical pain Gambling for reasons other than entertainment can lead to problems. Gambling should not be used as a coping mechanism.

Drinking alcohol while gambling carries additional risk Alcohol and gambling are not a good combination. If your night out includes drinking it’s best not to gamble or visa versa.

Become educated about the warning signs of problem gambling The more you know, the better choices you can make.

Signs of problem gambling:

Are you or is someone you know experiencing these symptoms?

  • Spending more and more time gambling.
  • Increasing gambling time and places.
  • Increasing bet sizes.
  • Creating special occasions for gambling (canceling other plans).
  • Increasing intensity of interest in gambling (constant high tension/excitement).
  • Gambling to escape problems or when there is a crisis.
  • “Chasing” losses with more gambling.
  • Boasting about winning and evasive about losing.
  • Exaggerated display of money and possessions.
  • Decreasing desire to engage in other activities and interests.
  • Frequent absences from school, work and home.
  • Withdrawal from family and friends.
  • Diversion of funds earmarked for other purposes.

Tips for Having Conversation with Adults About Gambling Behaviors:

  • Show concern – Let them know you care about them and are concerned.
  • Keep talking – Let them know exactly how their gambling behavior concerns you.
  • Discuss the impact – Let them know how their behavior is impacting you and others. Be specific.
  • Set clear expectations – “I want you to talk to someone about your gambling” and what they can expect from you – “I won’t cover for you anymore”.
  • Listen – Approach the conversation with a non-judgmental attitude.
  • Be proactive – Let them know you are willing to help.
  • Provide information – Let the professionals provide the advice.
  • Provide encouragement – Give them the information to contact or call the helpline at 1-877-MYLIMIT.

Tips for having conversations with youth about gambling behaviors:

  • Start Early – Don’t wait until adolescents to talk about gambling or other risky behaviors.
  • Listen – Create an open environment for conversation about their lives. Start by asking them, “so what are kids gambling on these days?”
  • Educate yourself and your kids about gambling – Share with kids that gambling isn’t risk free. It’s not a “healthy alternative” to alcohol or drug use.
  • Look for opportunities to discuss the risks of gambling – When there is a news report of a jackpot win, talk about the odds and reality of winning. It’s great math practice!
  • Monitor your child’s activities – Know where your kids are. Know their friends and what they are doing. Don’t forget about their online and video game activity.
  • Keep talking – Like alcohol and drugs, it isn’t one conversation that does the trick. Bring it up in casual conversation and keep talking.
  • Live by example – Remember that kids are watching what adults are doing.
  • For additional information on talking to Youth about gambling, check out this great resource:
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Prevention Coordinator Locations

County Program Name Address City Zip Code Phone #
Baker New Directions Northwest, Inc 3975 Midway Baker City 97814 541-524-9070
Benton Benton County Health Department 4077 SW Research Way Corvallis 97333 541-766-6024
Clackamas Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare 17070 SE McLouglin Blvd Milwaukie 97267 503-303-5516
Clatsop Clatsop CountyPublic Health 820 Exchange St #100 Astoria 97103 503-325-8500
Columbia Columbia Health Services 2370 Gable Rd St. St. Helens 97051 503-397-4651
Coos Coos Health & Wellness 281 LaClair St. Coos Bay 97420 541-266-6733
Crook Crook County Human Services 422 NW Beaver St Prineville 97754 541-447-3260
Curry Oregon Health Authority 503-410-2304
Deschutes Deschutes County Health Services 1130 NW Hariman, Suite A Bend 97703 541-322-7454
Douglas ADAPT 548 Jackson St. Roseburg 97470 541-672-2691
Gilliam Community Counseling Solutions 422 N. Main St Condon 97823 541-384-2666
Grant Community Counseling Solutions 582 E. Main St., Suite W John Day 97845 541-575-1466
Harney Symmetry Care 348 W. Adams Burns 97720 541-573-8376
Hood River Hood River County Prevention Department 309 State Street Hood River 97031 541-386-2500
Jackson Jackson County Public Health 140 South Holly St. Medford 97501 541-770-7780
Jefferson Best Care, Jefferson County 242 SW 4th St. Suite F Madras 97741 541-475-4884
Josephine Josephine County Juvenile Justice 301 NW F St. Grants Pass 97526 541-474-5234
Klamath Oregon Health Authority
Lake Lake Health District 215 North G St. Lakeview 97630 541-947-2114 x 441
Lane Lane County Public Health 151 W. 7th Ave Room 520 Eugene 97401 541-682-6581
Lincoln Lincoln County Public Health 36 SW Nye Street Newport 97365 541-265-4112
Linn Linn County Department of Health Services 104 SW 4th Ave Albany 97321 541-967-3819
Malheur Lifeways, Inc. 702 Sunset Drive Ontario 97914 541-889-9168
Marion Marion County Health & Human Services 2045 Silverton Rd NE Suite B Salem 97301 503-576-2860
Morrow Community Counseling Solutions 550 W. Sperry St. Heppner 97836 541-676-9161
Multnomah Multnomah County Health Department 209 SW 4th St. #520 Portland 97204 503-988-8222
NARA NARA 1631 SW Columbia Portland 97201 503-231-2641
Polk Polk County Prevention 182 SW Academy Street,Suite 220 Dallas 97338 503-623-9664 x 2550
Sherman Mid-Columbia Center for Living 302 Scott St Moro 97039 541-296-4552
Tillamook Tillamook Family Counseling 906 Main Ave Tillamook 97141 503-842-8201
Umatilla Umatilla County Public Health 200 SE 3rd St. Pendleton 97801 541-278-6369
Union Center for Human Development, Inc. 2301 Cove Avenue La Grande 97850 541-962-8822
Wasco Mid-Columbia Center for Living 419 E. 7th St The Dalles 97058 541-293-4552
Wallowa Building Healthy Families 207 E. Park St Enterprise 97828 541-426-9411
Washington Washington County Health & Human Services 540 NE Elam Young Pkwy, Suite 150 Hillboro 97124 503-846-4903
Wheeler Community Counseling Solutions 401 4th St Fossil 97830 541-763-2746
Yamhill Yamhill County Public Health 412 NE Fors St. McMinnville 97128 503-474-6253