The Virginia Lottery and the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling are teaming up to raise awareness of National Problem Gambling Awareness Month.
This year, as in years past, the Virginia Lottery has suspended all radio and television advertising of its lottery products during the first half of National Problem Gambling Awareness Month.
A PSA, produced in-house by the Virginia Lottery, promotes the Virginia Problem Gambling Helpline, which assists people who think they or loved ones may have a gambling problem. The spot 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.
“Promoting responsible play has always been part of our obligations at the Virginia Lottery,” Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall said. “For most people, gambling is recreational fun, but for some people it can create problems. We are committed to help raise awareness in the Commonwealth about the potential warning signs and the resources available for everyone who chooses to play.”
“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 lottery advertising materials include the hotline 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 training video to help retailers identify potential problem gambling behaviors by their customers with suggestions on appropriate ways to engage with consumers about these issues.
In addition, the Virginia Lottery created a Voluntary Exclusion Program in early 2021 allowing players to opt-out of state-regulated gambling activities for a set-period of time or for life. The VEP includes account-based Lottery, mobile sports betting, horse racing and historical horse race wagering, as well as gaming activities sponsored by charitable organizations.
For more information, or to access the Voluntary Exclusion Program, click here.