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Responsible Play

The Maryland Lottery encourages responsible play

Remember, it’s only a game.

Playing the Maryland Lottery can be a fun and exciting form of entertainment.  Participating responsibly can help ensure playing the Lottery remains a game for you.

While most individuals are able to play responsibly within their limits, some do lose control. For those individuals, what starts out as fun and exciting can lead to dangerous consequences. Problem gamblers jeopardize everything important in their lives – including their family, friends, job and finances.

The Maryland Lottery is committed to ensuring that individuals have access to assistance with problem gambling should they need.

A 24-hour, 365-day helpline can be reached at 1-800-522-4700. The helpline connects individuals to services including counseling, treatment, self-help and support groups. You can also gather more information through the Maryland Alliance for Responsible Gambling at mdgamblinghelp.org.

Be a low-risk gambler

Remember, even if you are lucky at times, over time you will lose money.  By following these tips for low-risk gambling, you can keep gambling a game:

  • Remember Lottery games and other types of gambling activities are for entertainment only, not a way to make money;
  • Decide on a loss limit prior to buying a Lottery ticket or participating in gambling activities, and stick to it;
  • Never borrow money to gamble (using a credit card is a form of borrowing money);
  • Remember there is no special method or ability that makes you have an advantage with games of chance, such as the Lottery;
  • Gamble with money set aside for entertainment, never with money for everyday expenses;
  • Make sure to include other forms of entertainment in your life; and
  • Don’t gamble when highly stressed, depressed or troubled in any way.

Source:  Responsible Gambling Council, responsiblegambling.org

Warning Signs of Problem Gambling

  • Spends a lot of time gambling – may miss work, school, family obligations, or other important events.
  • Hides gambling losses – frequently talks about wins but keeps losses and information about family finances to themselves
  • Gambles to escape – uses gambling to escape from pressures at home or work; also a person may gamble out of loneliness or grief
  • Suffers severe mood swings – a person’s state of mind depends on whether or not he/she wins or loses; when not gambling, the person may become anxious or angry
  • Bets increase in size – bets higher amounts in the hope of breaking even or winning back losses
  • Tries to stop gambling, but can’t – a compulsive gambler may try to stop gambling, but in most cases is unable to quit without help

Voluntary Exclusion Program

The Maryland Lottery operates a voluntary exclusion program for individuals who wish to ban themselves from playing the Maryland Lottery.

If an individual registers for voluntary exclusion that individual agrees not purchase or play any Maryland Lottery game that is under the jurisdiction of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission.

Things to know about voluntary exclusion:

  • Placement on the list is completely voluntary and your name cannot be added to the list by anyone but yourself.
  • The application must be filled out and submitted in person at Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency headquarters in Baltimore or at any casino in Maryland. To arrange an appointment to submit an application at MLCGA headquarters, please call at 410-230-8798. Applications may be submitted at a Maryland casino anytime during casino operating hours.
  • You must present a government-issued photo ID for the application process.
  • You must not be under the influence of any alcohol or controlled substances during the application process, so you can make a sober and informed decision.
  • You can elect either a two year or lifetime exclusion.
  • A person enrolled for a two-year exclusion may request removal from the list at the expiration of that time period by completing a Request for Removal Application. A person applying for removal from the VEP must first undergo a problem gambling assessment by a professional who is certified by the state to conduct problem gambling assessments, complete any recommended treatment, and complete a problem gambling treatment and prevention program. The Maryland Lottery will have the final determination on whether an applicant can be removed from the voluntary exclusion list.
  • If you violate the voluntary exclusion program, you contractually agree to redeem or liquidate all unredeemed items that have monetary value and designate that their winnings be contributed to the Unclaimed Prize Fund.

FAQs about the Maryland Lottery Voluntary Exclusion Program can be found here.

To view a sample application click here, but the application must be filled out and submitted in person at the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency headquarters in Baltimore or at any Maryland casino.
To arrange an appointment to submit an application at the MLGCA headquarters, please call the Responsible Gambling Program Coordinator at 410-230-8798. Applications may be submitted at a Maryland casino anytime during casino operation hours.

Maryland Lottery Helps Make Maryland a Leader in Problem Gambling Awareness

The Maryland Lottery was a founding organization of the Maryland Alliance for Responsible Gambling, a statewide partnership that is focused on coordinating and maximizing resources to address problem gambling in Maryland.

The Lottery’s responsible/problem gambling program includes:

  • Building and maintaining the Alliance’s www.mdgamblinghelp.org;
  • Including the 1-800-522-4700 help line number and “Play Responsibly” message on the back of all Lottery ticket stock (instant and online) and on mdlottery.com;
  • Utilizing the Maryland Lottery in Motion system (LIMs) at all lottery retail locations to display a responsible gambling message which includes the helpline number.
  • Creating a Maryland Voluntary Exclusion Program for lottery.
  • Participating in the National Council on Problem Gambling’s holiday campaign.
  • Providing support through membership fees and sponsorships to the National Council on Problem Gambling.
  • Exhibiting and presenting at conferences and workshops for educators, judicial personnel, prosecuting attorneys, university/college representatives, counselors, social workers, older adults and the general public to raise awareness of problem gambling issues and the free help available to problem gamblers and their families;
  • Training of Lottery employees in problem-gambling sensitivity.

Additional Resources Include

Maryland Alliance for Responsible Gambling – mdgamblinghelp.org

Maryland Center for Excellence in Problem Gambling – mdproblemgambling.com

Maryland Council on Problem Gambling – 410-375-1421

National Council on Problem Gambling – 1-800-522-4700

Gambler’s Anonymous International Service Office – 213-386-8789

Gam-Anon International Service Office – 718-352-1671

NASPL Problem Gaming Resource Center

NASPL Problem Gaming Frequently Asked Questions

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced the release of Gambling Prevalence in Maryland: A Baseline Analysis, a report on gambling habits and problem or pathological gambling in Maryland. Data were collected between September 7, 2010 and October 31, 2010. To view the press release click here. The full report is available by clicking here or by visiting http://www.maryland-adaa.org/content_documents/GAMBLING/gambling201_0610.pdf.



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