March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month

02 March 2024- The Pennsylvania Lottery, in collaboration with national and state responsible gambling groups, recognizes March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM). PGAM is dedicated to increasing public awareness of harms that may be associated with gambling and the availability of prevention, treatment, and recovery services.

By calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) or accessing the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania (CCGP) by phone, text, or chat, players can learn about the warning signs, or gain access to counselors and self-help meetings.

Additionally, the Lottery has tools available for those who play the PA Lottery online. Players have the option to set limits, take cool-off periods, or self-exclude for six months, one year, or five years. Players can also access a short survey to assist them in evaluating whether they need to modify their gambling behavior.

The CCGP also offers 10 Rules of Responsible Gambling to find helpful tips that will ensure players are gambling responsibly. The website also has information available on self-help meetings, including those that are being conducted virtually.  

“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.”

By law, players must be 18 or older to play the PA Lottery, and online players must be located within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to play games online and win prizes. To ensure no one under 18 is playing the Lottery, the PA Lottery performs electronic verification to verify the identity and age of a player before allowing an individual to set up an online account.

The Pennsylvania Lottery holds multiple certifications for its responsible gambling work, including from the World Lottery Association and the National Council on Problem Gambling. The Lottery’s “Please Play Responsibly” message is visible in all aspects of its consumer marketing and advertising; it also appears on items such as game tickets, live televised drawings, media materials, social media, and the Lottery’s website.

Playing the Lottery responsibly means:

  • Setting a budget and playing only within your financial means.
  • Understanding the chances of winning and not chasing losses.
  • Not letting play interfere with work or family obligations.
  • Taking a break or stop playing entirely if playing stops being fun.
  • Understanding that Lottery games are not suitable for children. Whether buying a ticket for yourself or as a gift, Pennsylvania Lottery players must be 18 or older. Tickets are not toys.

Earlier this week, the Pennsylvania Lottery joined the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, and the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania for an event to observe National Problem Gambling Awareness Month and highlight resources that are available. The goals of the national campaign are to increase the availability of treatment and recovery services; and to encourage healthcare providers to screen clients for problem gambling.