In observance of National Problem Gambling Awareness Week March 1-7, the Louisiana Lottery Corporation reminds those who enjoy its games to do so responsibly.
According to the Louisiana Compulsive Gambling Committee's 2008 study, state problem gambling prevalence rates for 2008 remained relatively stable, with 1.7 percent labeled as problem gamblers and 1.4 percent described as pathological gamblers.
"Problem gambling awareness is a very important issue to our players, and we want them to know that we take it seriously, too," said Lottery President Rose Hudson. "Lottery games are fun, and we want to keep them that way by encouraging good habits for playing responsibly."
In a recent online survey of Lottery players, 90 percent said it was important to them that the Lottery provide information on responsible play, and 95 percent rated the Lottery's awareness efforts as "good" or "excellent."
A section of the Lottery's Web site is devoted to problem gambling awareness, including a list of warning signs, a quiz to determine a player's risk level, advice for family and friends of problem gamblers, a list of resources for getting help, as well as tips for playing responsibly. Some of these tips include:
Playing only for fun.
Considering any money lost as the cost of entertainment.
Setting a dollar limit and sticking to it.
Setting a time limit and sticking to it.
Never borrowing money to gamble.
Not allowing gambling to interfere with family, friends or work.
Never gambling to win back losses.
Never using gambling as a way to cope with emotional or physical pain.
The Problem Gambling Helpline number, 877-770-7867, appears on all Lottery tickets, and on brochures available at Lottery retailers, as well in advertising and other collateral material.
In the Lottery's player survey, 92 percent said they would know where to go for help if a friend or family member had a problem. These results mirror the 2008 state study in which 68 percent of respondents indicated an awareness of the Problem Gambling Helpline.
The Lottery encourages anyone who has a gambling problem or friends and family of anyone with a gambling problem to call toll-free 1-877-770-7867 for help. More information on responsible play can be found on the Lottery's Web site,
www.louisianalottery.com, the National Problem Gambling Awareness site,
www.npgaw.org, and the Louisiana Office of Addictive Disorders,
The Louisiana Lottery Corporation's mission is to maximize revenue for the State of Louisiana while upholding the highest standards of integrity and public trust. By law, 35 percent of all revenue is transferred to the state treasury for the Minimum Foundation program that funds public education, with the first $500,000 in annual proceeds earmarked to fund problem gambling programs.