New PSA promotes Virginia Problem Gambling Hotline

virginia problem gambling helplineMarch is National Problem Gambling Awareness Month, and the Virginia Lottery and the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling are teaming up to help raise awareness with a new PSA.

This year, as in years past, the Virginia Lottery has suspended all radio and television advertising of its products during the first half of National Problem Gambling Awareness Month.

The PSA promotes the Virginia Problem Gambling Helpline, which assists people who think they or loved ones may have a gambling problem. It emphasizes that a problem gambler can make a positive change by seeking help.

The PSA is just one way in which the Lottery, in partnership with the VACPG, is working to build a robust Responsible Gaming program. The Lottery was selected as one of the first lotteries nationwide to participate in a pilot responsible gaming verification program designed by the National Council on Problem Gambling and the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries.

“For most people, gambling is recreational fun, but for some people it can create problems,” said Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall. “Promoting responsible play has always been part of our DNA at the Virginia Lottery. We are committed to helping to raise awareness in the Commonwealth for people who think they or a loved one may have problems.”

“Promoting awareness about problem gambling is key to preventing difficulties among members of our communities,” said VACPG President Carolyn Hawley, Ph. D. “The knowledge of how a recreational activity can become problematic, understanding the warning signs, and factors that place people at risk, can help minimize gambling related problems. We are fortunate that we have a Lottery that is making a commitment towards responsible gaming and supporting efforts to keep gambling fun.”

The Virginia Problem Gambling Helpline is a toll-free number, (888) 532-3500, where callers can get confidential information. All Virginia Lottery tickets and most printed advertising materials contain the number.

In addition, the lottery produces bilingual materials publicizing the hotline and directing customers to additional problem gambling resources. The Virginia Lottery has been nationally recognized for producing a video which helps retailers identify potential problem gambling behaviors, with suggestions on appropriate ways to engage with customers on these issues.

         
 

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