The N.C. Education Lottery is participating in National Problem Gambling Awareness Month by training its staff on problem gambling and by conducting a television and radio advertising campaign to encourage responsible play of lottery games.
The lottery’s efforts are part of its support of a public awareness and outreach campaign of the National Council on Problem Gambling during March. While gambling is done responsibly by most adults, estimates are that six to eight million Americans, including somewhere between 195,000 to 340,000 North Carolinians, will experience a problem with some form of gambling during their lifetime.
This week, the Education Lottery used its advertising dollars to run a responsible play message statewide on television and radio stations. The ad includes the toll-free number for the N.C. Problem Gambling Helpline, 1 877-718-5543.
More than 80 lottery employees also attended a two-hour seminar designed to provide knowledge and information on problem gambling and training on how to direct any lottery player or family member experiencing a gambling problem to resources that could help them. More than 90 members of the lottery’s sales team received similar training during a sales conference in September.
“Our mission is to sell lottery tickets to raise money for a good cause – education,” said Alice Garland, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “But in operating a lottery, we have an obligation to keep the interest of our players uppermost in mind and encourage responsible play. The most successful lotteries will also be the ones that operate most responsibly.”
Garland provided the following reminders for lottery players to help ensure their play is done responsibly.
- Play lottery games for fun or recreation, never to try and solve a financial problem
- Only play the lottery with money you can afford to lose
- Set limits on the amount of time and money you spend on the lottery
- Learn and understand the odds of winning prizes for the lottery games you play
The Education Lottery provides $1 million a year to the N.C. Problem Gambling Program. The program operates the state’s confidential and toll-free helpline and provides counseling and treatment for gambling problems. For more information, visit the program’s website at http://www.morethanagamenc.com or the National Council on Problem Gambling website at www.ncpgambling.org.