Baton Rouge, La — The Louisiana Lottery Corporation will make a special effort to encourage responsible play during National Problem Gambling Awareness Week, March 3-9. While the Lottery promotes responsible play on its tickets and promotional materials throughout the year, observing National Problem Gambling Awareness Week gives the corporation an additional opportunity to encourage smart playing practices.
“We know responsible play is an important issue to our players,” said Lottery President Rose Hudson. “That’s why we encourage them to keep our games fun by treating their play as entertainment.”
Toward that end, the Lottery encourages players to follow these tips:
• Play only for fun.
• Consider any money lost as the cost of entertainment.
• Set a dollar limit and stick to it.
• Never borrow money to gamble.
• Don’t allow gambling to interfere with family, friends or work.
• Never gamble to win back losses.
• Never use gambling as a way to cope with emotional or physical pain.
According to a 2008 study conducted by the Louisiana Compulsive Gambling Committee, problem gamblers accounted for 1.7 percent of the state’s population, while pathological gamblers made up 1.4 percent.
Problem and pathological gambling can have a detrimental effect on an individual’s personal relationships, finances and employment. Signs include preoccupation with gambling, exaggerating winnings and minimizing losses, and feeling the need to bet more money more frequently.
“The good news is that our state offers many different types of treatment programs for problem gambling,” Hudson explained. “The Lottery strongly believes in doing its part to create awareness for problem gambling resources so that players can get help if they need it.”
Every year, the first $500,000 of Lottery proceeds transferred to the state treasury is used to help fund problem gambling programs, like the state’s toll-free Problem Gamblers Helpline.
The Lottery encourages anyone with a gambling problem to call the helpline at 1-877-770-7867. The number is printed on all Lottery tickets and promotional materials, and more information and resources can be found on the Lottery’s website, www.louisianalottery.com. In addition, brochures on responsible play are also provided at Lottery play centers, located in 2,900 retail locations statewide.
Additional information on problem gambling and treatment options can be found on the National Problem Gambling Awareness site, www.npgaw.org, or by visiting www.dhh.louisiana.gov and contacting the Louisiana Office of Behavioral Health.