Supporting our BIPOC Communities

This June, the NYCPG is proud to raise awareness of problem gambling in Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities. We will be working within local communities to raise awareness of problem gambling and identify where to get help.

Defining BIPOC

We use BIPOC to highlight the unique experience that Indigenous and Black (African Americans) people have within their communities throughout New York State. The acronym BIPOC is to identify how our history and cultures shape the experiences and relationship to white supremacy for all people of color. 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  

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

Therefore, some gambling activities may not be considered gambling in their communities. The NYCPG has found that dominos, video games/loot boxes, lottery, scratch offs, and cards are several types of these gambling activities.

Screening for Problem Gambling

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.

Gambling disorder leads to financial, emotional, social, occupational, and physical harms. Many cases of gambling disorder go undetected. This is due to lack of awareness, education, and limited assessment for gambling.

Barriers to Treatment and Services  

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.

Additionally, 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.


  • Learn about the culture Culture changes frequently. Don’t assume you know everything. Be sure to ask questions to learn about each individuals’ experience(s) within their community.
  • Representation is key. It is very important that you work with individuals that represent or serve a 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. Validate the experience(s) they share and keep in mind that it is not necessarily a reflection of your interaction with these communities.

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 Screening Month

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. 

Connecting to Support

Raise awareness of available information and support services. If you find yourself struggling with gambling harm, or if you suspect someone you know is facing such challenges, don’t hesitate to seek help. For 24/7 support, call the NYS OASAS HOPEline at 1-877-846-7369 or text 467369. Or choose your county using our interactive map on our HOME PAGE to see the contact information for the Problem Gambling Resource Center (PGRC) in your region.