Louisiana Lottery Observes National Problem Gambling Awareness Month in March
BATON ROUGE – This March the Louisiana Lottery Corporation joins the Louisiana Department of Health’s Office of Behavioral Health (OBH), the Louisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling (LACG) and the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) in educating the public about the signs of problem gambling and stressing the importance of responsible gaming as part of National Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM). “When gambling is more than a game, no one wins; that is why the Louisiana Lottery remains committed to keeping our games fun and entertaining by stressing the importance of playing responsibly,” said Lottery President Rose Hudson. The Lottery supports that message by providing responsible play tips on its website and in its “Play It Smart” brochure available at several retailer play centers. It also annually dedicates the first $500,000 in Lottery proceeds to the treatment and prevention of problem gambling. This year, the Lottery will once again join OBH’s “like and share” campaign in social media to amplify daily problem gambling messages on its platforms. It will also utilize NCPG’s campaign hashtag #PGAM2023. The NCPG’s 2023 PGAM theme is “Celebrating 20 Years.” The goals of this national campaign are to increase public awareness of problem gambling and the availability of prevention, treatment and recovery services, as well as to encourage healthcare providers to screen clients for problem gambling. Problem gambling is defined as all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family or vocational pursuits. Approximately 2 million U.S. adults (1% of the population) are estimated to meet criteria for severe problem gambling. Another 4-6 million (2-3%) meet the criteria for mild or moderate problem gambling. According to a 2016 Problem Gambling Prevalence Study by the Department of Health's Office of Behavioral Health, 5.4% of Louisianians have the potential for problem gambling disorder and another 2.9% meet the criteria for a pathological gambling disorder. Problem gambling experts recommend a quick three-question screening to determine whether you might have a problem with gambling: 1. During the past 12 months, have you become restless, irritable or anxious when trying to stop/cut down on gambling? 2. During the past 12 months, have you tried to keep your family or friends from knowing how much you gambled? 3. During the past 12 months did you have such financial trouble as a result of your gambling that you had to get help with living expenses from family, friends or welfare? The Lottery encourages those who may have a problem with gambling to contact the state’s Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-877-770-STOP (7867), which is operated by the LACG. Additional responsible play and problem gambling information and resources can be found on the Lottery’s website, www.louisianalottery.com/play-responsibly, the Office of Behavioral Health’s Addictive Disorders Services website, https://ldh.la.gov/index.cfm/page/95 , on the LACG website, www.helpforgambling.org and the NCPG website, www.ncpgambling.org.