Responsible Play

Winners Play Responsibly

Playing Maryland Lottery games can be a fun and exciting form of entertainment. You must be at least 18 years old to purchase or play Maryland Lottery games, and the Lottery offers these simple tips listed below to encourage Marylanders to play responsibly and within their means.

In order to help adults purchase and play responsibly, we encourage you to follow the simple tips listed below.

If you believe that you or someone you know has a gambling problem, the Maryland Lottery wants you to know that confidential and professional help is available to Maryland residents at no cost and is only a phone call — or a click — away. Please see the resources listed on this page for assistance.

Tips on How to Enjoy the Lottery Responsibly

Tip #1: Know your limits

Set a spending limit and a loss limit before you purchase a lottery ticket. Stick to your limits no matter how good or bad your luck is that day.

Tip #2: Know your odds

Be a low-risk player. It’s easy to check the odds of winning Maryland Lottery games by reviewing the information on these games page links:

The overall probability of winning a prize on each scratch-off and FAST PLAY game is available on the following links and the MD Lottery mobile app. That the overall probability refers to the game as a whole, so if a scratch-off has a probability of 1 in 3, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll win a prize if you buy three tickets. It means that 1 out of every 3 tickets that were printed for the game is a winner. Winning tickets are randomly distributed.

Tip #3: Never borrow money to gamble

Don’t ask friends or family to borrow money to gamble. What starts out as entertainment can adversely impact your finances and your relationships.

Tip #4: Remember lottery games are games of chance

Lottery games are games of chance and by design. There is no special method or ability that gives you an advantage with games of chance. All players have an equal opportunity to win and playing more frequently does not improve your chances of winning.

Tip #5: Play for entertainment only

Lottery games are for entertainment purposes only and are not a way to make money. They shouldn’t be paid for with money that was set aside for everyday expenses like groceries and bills. Please make sure to include other forms of entertainment in your life, too.

Tip #6: Don’t play when you’re stressed

Stay positive. Don’t play the lottery when you’re highly stressed, depressed, or troubled in any way.

Source:  Responsible Gambling Council, responsiblegambling.org

  • Spending a lot of time gambling – missing work, school, family obligations, or other important events.
  • Hiding gambling losses – frequently talking about winning, but not sharing information about losses or family finances.
  • Gambling to escape – using gambling to escape from pressures at home or work, or being motivated to gamble out of loneliness or grief.
  • Suffering severe mood swings – becoming anxious or angry, or having changes in one’s state of mind when not gambling, or depending on the outcome of gambling.
  • Increasing wagers – betting higher amounts in the hope of breaking even or winning back losses.
  • Attempting to stop gambling, but can’t – compulsive gamblers may try to stop, but in most cases are unable to do so without help.

Maryland Lottery and Gaming operates a voluntary exclusion program (VEP) for individuals who wish to ban themselves from playing Maryland Lottery games or gambling in Maryland’s casinos or electronic instant bingo halls.

Individuals who register for voluntary exclusion agree not to purchase or play Maryland Lottery games or to visit the state’s casinos or electronic instant bingo halls.

Things to know about the voluntary exclusion program:

  • 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 the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency’s 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 that 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 Voluntary Exclusion list at the expiration of that time period by completing a Request for Removal Application. A person applying for removal from the VEP must:
    1. First undergo a problem gambling assessment by a professional who is certified by the state to conduct problem gambling assessments.
    2. Complete any recommended treatment.
    3. 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 Problem Gambling 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’s 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 Alliance for Responsible Gambling – mdgamblinghelp.org

Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling – mdproblemgambling.com

Maryland Council on Problem Gambling – 410-375-1421

National Council on Problem Gambling – 1-800-426-2537

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

24-Hour Help

To connect individuals to services including counseling, treatment, self-help and support groups, a 24-hour helpline can be reached at 1-800-GAMBLER. You can also gather more information through the Maryland Alliance for Responsible Gambling at mdgamblinghelp.org.

Maryland residents are eligible for free problem gambling assessment and treatment through the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling (667-214-2120; helpmygamblingproblem.org).

The Maryland Lottery is proud to have achieved the highest level of responsible gaming certification.

Additional Resources

Maryland Alliance for Responsible Gambling – mdgamblinghelp.org

Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling – mdproblemgambling.com

Maryland Council on Problem Gambling –
410-375-1421

National Council on Problem Gambling –
1-800-426-2537

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