- FREE ONLINE CHAT: Chat is open 24 hours 7 days a week
- Chat specialists have expertise in problem gambling
- Chat provides emotional support & referrals for problem gamblers and others impacted by the gambler’s behavior
- Chats are confidential and can be anonymous
- Links chat visitors to local treatment service
- When chat is not available, call the CT Problem Gambling Helpline at: 1-888-789-7777
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Problem Gambling (PG) Live Chat?
Chat is a conversation between a person concerned about problem gambling and a specialist in problem gambling by way of computers. This is an alternative to calling the Helpine.
Who should use Problem Gambling Chat?
Anyone who has identified him/herself as having a gambling problem, anyone who is concerned about his/her current gambling behavior, and significant others who have been affected by the problem gambling behavior of another.
Chat is provided by the CT Council on Problem Gambling for residents of the State of Connecticut. Residents of nearby states of Rhode Island and Massachusetts will also be given referral information in their geographic areas.
Problem Gambling Chat aims to:
- Be supportive and non-judgmental
- Help the problem gambler and/or affected others to reduce stress and feel empowered to make healthier decisions regarding the gambling problem.
- Connect chatters to local treatment services to cope with the gambling problem that is having serious effects.
What can I expect during a chat session?
You may be asked questions related to:
- history around the gambling behavior
- your safety
- current emotional, financial, and other stressors
When is the problem gambling chat service available?
When you click on “Chat Now,” you will be asked for your zip code, which will route you to the Chat site. If services are available for your area and there is a chat specialist available, you will be connected right away or be informed of a wait if the chat is busy. Wait time is dependent on how many chats are in process or waiting. If the chat is not open, you will see the available chat schedule so that you can contact chat at a later time.
When no chat service is available, you can also call the CT Problem Gambling Helpline directly at 1-888-789-7777.
Why are chat specialists asking for identifying information?
Can I remain anonymous?
Your city/state is requested to connect you to local resources. Non-identifying demographic information (like your age, city of residence, ethnicity, gender, and, type of concern) is also collected to understand the needs of different groups.
If you would like to remain anonymous, you may make up a fictitious name or choose the “chat anonymously” option.
Your phone number or other contact information is requested for a chat specialist to contact you in case of a disconnection; or in the case of an emergency in which your safety is at risk. Your personal information will never be shared unless a chat specialist has reason to believe your life, or the life of someone else you identify, is in imminent danger.
Is Problem Gambling Chat communication secure?
Your information and chats are confidential and are in compliance with requirements of state and federal laws.
Confidentiality and security of chats are ensured through the PG Chat software provider, which uses the same encryption* and data protection standards required by major financial institutions to transact business with each other. All of your communications are securely encrypted from your computer to ours.
*changing information into a code, so it can only be read by those to whom it was intended.