BIPOC Screening Month

This June our NYCPG Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Team is proud to be raising problem gambling awareness in Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Communities through screening days. The DEI Team and partners will be working within their communities to raise awareness and access to what problem gambling is and where to get help.  

What is BIPOC?  

BIPOC is a term used to encompass folks who are not white and are impacted by systemic racial injustices. According to the BIPOC project, “We use the term BIPOC to highlight the unique relationship to whiteness that Indigenous and Black (African Americans) people have, which shapes the experiences of and relationship to white supremacy for all people of color within a U.S. context.” NYCPG recognizes that not all folks who have experienced systemic racial injustice may identify with this term, but our mission is to be inclusive in our screening process and outreach. 

BIPOC Culture and Gambling  

Gambling is an activity that has been done for hundreds of years in many communities. In many cultures and communities, it is a national pastime, a way to socialize with others. In many BIPOC communities gambling is not seen as a problematic activity.  

Additionally, some types of gambling may not be considered gambling in their communities. In a recent survey by the NYCPG DEI Team, dominos, video games/loot boxes, lottery, scratch offs, and cards are several types of gambling activities that BIPOC communities do not always associate with gambling.   

Why screen the BIPOC Community for Problem Gambling?


Gambling disorder leads to financial, emotional, social, occupational, and physical harms. However, many cases of gambling disorder go undetected, due to lack of awareness, education, and limited assessment for this problem. Studies show that among BIPOC Communities there are higher levels of anxiety, depression, suicidal tendencies, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and other mental health disorders, all that can co-occur with gambling. 

Barriers with Problem Gambling Treatment & Services  

The shame and stigma associated with gambling problems can be further compounded within BIPOC communities. This can be because of a distrust of the medical system, or lack of services for those who are undocumented. In addition, treatment options can be limited for those in BIPOC communities. Service availability may not be equitable, culturally specific, or in a client’s native language. 

Recommendations for working with BIPOC Communities:
  • Learn about the culture: Don’t assume you know everything, culture changes frequently. 
  • Representation is key. If you are engaging the BIPOC community, it is very important that you work with individuals that represent or serve that particular community.  If you are marketing services, have materials that are translated in proper languages and have images that reflect the community that you are serving.   
  • Remember you are a guest at the table and listen. Don’t tell individuals that they have a problem with gambling in their community, reframe from telling individuals how to solve their problems in their community.  Listen to concerns, learn how they solve problems, and work with them to find solutions.   Many members from the BIPOC community are private individuals and like to solve their own problems.  The best way to engage this community is to give them the tools they need to help themselves.   
  • Don’t take anything personal. 

How to raise awareness 

Start the conversation! Meet with local leaders, community members, and business owners who are interested in getting involved. Visit local community and recreational centers, faith-based locations, barber shops and other places where folks gather and socialize to share information and resources on problem gambling. 

Participate in BIPOC Problem Gambling Screening Month 

Most importantly, take part in BIPOC Problem Gambling Screening Month. Screening is imperative to detect gambling-related problems as early as possible. We encourage all organizations and providers to take part in BIPOC Screening Month.  For more information, reach out to your local Problem Gambling Resource Center.