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Pennsylvania Lottery Drawing Attention To Problem Gambling Awareness

Calendar showing March 2018

Pennsylvania Lottery reminded players this month to be wary of compulsive or problem gambling.

“As part of our commitment to be socially responsible, we ask every player to always play responsibly,” said Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko. “That means playing within your financial means and only for entertainment.”

The Pennsylvania Lottery recently achieved World Lottery Association’s Level 2 Responsible Gaming Certification for promoting responsible play.

In recognition of National Problem Gambling Awareness Month, the lottery released information regarding the warning signs of gambling problems.

“Most adults can play lottery games without issue, but anyone who may be struggling with gambling addiction should not play at all,” Svitko said. “In addition, we strongly discourage adults from giving games to children; players must be 18 or older.”

Signs of a gambling issue

The following are considerations when determining if gambling has become problematic:

  • Causes financial hardship
  • Harms relationships with friends or loved ones
  • Interrupts work, school or other activities
  • Impacts physical or mental health

People with these issues also become fixated on gambling, betting money more often, and chasing the feeling of winning when faced with losses. The person may also become irritable when attempting to stop gambling and may not be able to stop themselves from continuing to gamble.

This could also lead to lying or hiding the issue, using it as a crutch for other issues, or anger and depression.

For those who need assistance or would like to explore their options, PA does offer a confidential hotline, 1-800-GAMBLER (426-2537), and a 24-hour chat service at www.pacouncil.com, operated by the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Lottery continues to support the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG).

Lottery allows blocking, looks forward to spring

For the Pennsylvania Lottery, there’s just as much excitement incoming with the launch of the iLottery. The iLottery, complete with scratch-offs, Keno, and draw games, will make PA the fifth state to offer this platform. The governor expects this change to draw $74 million for the state over the first five years of operation.

This new platform will also allow players to block themselves from playing online lottery games for up to five years. The state will launch more online casino platforms this year. This spring could continue to bring profits for the state.

Looking beyond PA

Public funding allocated to problem gambling services across the U.S. in the last three years still remains fairly slim. Including District of Columbia, 10 states have yet to develop any funding for these services at all.

In 2017, dedicated problem gambling funds rose 22 percent, from $60 million to $73 million. Even so, the gap across states can create a services void.

“If keeping people healthy and safe is a priority, then we should expand funding for problem gambling education and treatment, not keep cutting it,” said NPCG Executive Director Keith Whyte.

 

Katie Callahan

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Katie Callahan is a freelance journalist, blogger and copywriter who covers everything from poker, business, education and politics to construction, startups and cybersecurity.