BATON ROUGE, LA — Each spring, the Louisiana Lottery steps up its efforts to encourage responsible play by joining the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) in its observance of National Problem Gambling Awareness Week. After ten years of successful campaigns, NCPG is expanding its 2014 observance to the entire month of March.
While the Lottery promotes responsible play on its tickets and promotional materials throughout the year, observing National Problem Gambling Awareness Month gives the corporation an additional opportunity to encourage smart playing practices.
“Lottery games are a great form of entertainment, and we are committed to helping our players keep it fun,” said Lottery President Rose Hudson. “That’s why we support efforts to raise awareness of problem gambling and to provide help for those who need it.”
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.
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. 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 more than 2,900 retail locations statewide.
Additional information on problem gambling and treatment options can be found on the National Problem Gambling Awareness site, www.npgam.org , or by visiting www.dhh.la.gov  and contacting the Louisiana Office of Behavioral Health.