LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- People with gambling problems now have two new ways to reach out for help. 

People in Kentucky have been able to call 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) to speak with a counselor concerning issues with problem gambling for the past two decades. 

This service has now been expanded to include text and online chat capabilities.

The program is administered by the Kentucky Council on Problem Gambling (KYCPG), and is being underwritten by the Kentucky Lottery.

"Thousands of callers have been helped or received information on problem and addicted gambling through the helpline," KYCPG Executive Director Michael R. Stone said. "We appreciate the Kentucky Lottery's commitment to social responsibility in expanding this important 24/7 service with text and chat capabilities."

If a person doesn't want to speak with someone for more information, they can send a text to 1-800-GAMBLER to interact with a counselor. They can also go to the lottery's website at www.kylottery.com, click on the "Play Responsibly" button at the bottom of the page, and be taken to a link where they can take part in an online chat with a counselor. These services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Hotline staff are able to provide information concerning the disorder, and can help callers find a local Gamblers Anonymous chapter or other form of help.

"As lottery sales have expanded to the Internet, we felt compelled to expand the KYCPG's capability to reach people via the same platform," said the lottery's Sr. Vice President of Communications, PR and Social Responsibility Chip Polston. "Our lottery has been at the forefront of the responsible gambling movement in the industry for many years, and this was a natural progression for us to provide information to people who may be at risk."

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