Pennsylvania Lottery Leads Charge in Recognizing Problem Gambling Awareness Month

Problem Gambling Awareness MonthPA Lottery joined representatives of DDAP, PGCB, CCPG, and others to kick off March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month at the Pennsylvania State Capitol on February 26. /Submitted Image

PENNSYLVANIA — In a bid to highlight the potential harms associated with gambling and the available resources for prevention, treatment, and recovery, the Pennsylvania Lottery, together with national and state responsible gambling groups, is recognizing March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM).

Problem Gambling Awareness Month is an annual initiative that aims to raise public consciousness about problem gambling and provide a platform for comprehensive discussions about the issue. This includes understanding the warning signs of problem gambling, the importance of playing responsibly, and available resources for those who may need help.

To assist players who might be grappling with gambling-related issues, the Pennsylvania Lottery has partnered with the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania (CCGP). Individuals can access support by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) or reaching out to the CCGP via phone, text, or chat.

For those who engage in online lottery games, the Pennsylvania Lottery has tools in place that allow players to set limits on their gambling, take a break with cool-off periods, or self-exclude from playing for six months, one year, or five years. An optional short survey is also available for players to evaluate their gambling behavior and determine if changes are necessary.

“As part of our commitment to be socially responsible, we ask every player to always play responsibly,” said Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko. “That means playing within your means and only for entertainment. If you or someone you know may be experiencing a gambling-related harm, we want you to know that there are resources available to help.”

Pennsylvania law requires players to be 18 or older to participate in the PA Lottery, and online players must be located within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to play games online and win prizes. The PA Lottery enforces these rules through electronic verification to confirm the identity and age of a player before allowing them to set up an online account.

The Pennsylvania Lottery has been recognized for its commitment to promoting responsible gambling. It holds multiple certifications from the World Lottery Association and the National Council on Problem Gambling. The Lottery’s “Please Play Responsibly” message is integrated into all aspects of its consumer marketing and advertising, including game tickets, live televised drawings, media materials, social media, and the Lottery’s website.

Playing the lottery responsibly involves setting a budget, understanding the odds of winning, not chasing losses, and ensuring that play does not interfere with work or family obligations. For some, it may mean taking a break or even stopping entirely if playing ceases to be enjoyable. Further, the PA Lottery emphasizes that lottery games are not suitable for children and that players must be 18 or older.

Earlier this week, the Pennsylvania Lottery collaborated with the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, and the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania to observe National Problem Gambling Awareness Month and highlight available resources. The campaign’s objectives align with those of the national campaign: to enhance the availability of treatment and recovery services and to encourage healthcare providers to screen clients for problem gambling.

As we move through March, the Pennsylvania Lottery and its partners will continue to spotlight Problem Gambling Awareness Month on social media using the hashtag #PGAM2024.

The Pennsylvania Lottery’s recognition of Problem Gambling Awareness Month signals the importance of responsible gaming and the need for accessible support for those struggling with gambling-related issues. By raising awareness and providing resources, the Lottery is playing a crucial role in fostering a more sustainable and responsible gaming culture across Pennsylvania.

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