Agency participates in Problem Gambling Awareness Month
Maryland Lottery and Gaming works every day to encourage players to enjoy Lottery and casino games responsibly, and March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month – a time to highlight these year-round efforts.
Lottery and casino games are meant to be fun and entertaining, and a few simple practices can help to keep them that way: Before you play, take time to know your game and its rules, know the odds – and know your limits.
The National Council on Problem Gambling’s theme for this year’s observance of Problem Gambling Awareness Month is “Awareness + Action.” The focus is on encouraging people to have conversations about gambling issues and directing those who need help to available resources.
“We’re committed to emphasizing the importance of responsible play, and part of that effort is making sure that people know help is available,” said Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director Gordon Medenica. “The State has created an excellent funding mechanism that provides cost-free counseling for Maryland residents who want to talk to someone about their gambling.”
Maryland’s casinos pay annual assessments that support responsible gaming programs, including problem gambling treatment. In Fiscal Year 2019, these contributions totaled nearly $5.3 million. Maryland residents are eligible for counseling services free of charge by contacting the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling. Information is available at helpmygamblingproblem.org, or by calling 1-800-GAMBLER.
In joining the National Council on Problem Gambling to promote March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month, Maryland Lottery and Gaming is coordinating with more than 60 television and radio partners. Throughout the month, these stations will air public service announcements describing the signs of problem gambling and providing information on how to get help. Announcements also will be featured on more than 20 digital billboards across the state. Signs to be on the lookout for include being preoccupied with gambling, increasing the amount of money and time spent playing, trying to win back losses by betting more, restlessness and irritability when not gambling, and feeling out of control.
In 2018, the Maryland Lottery received Level 3 certification from the World Lottery Association (WLA), the lottery industry’s international leader in responsible gambling standards. The Maryland Lottery is pursuing Level 4, the WLA’s highest certification, which involves agency-wide efforts to strengthen existing responsible play efforts and develop new initiatives and messaging programs.
In 2010, Maryland Lottery and Gaming formed the Maryland Alliance for Responsible Gambling (MARG) in partnership with the Center of Excellence and other stakeholders. MARG provides a forum for ongoing collaboration and communication between the gaming and problem gambling treatment communities. More information and resources can be found on MARG’s website, mdgamblinghelp.org.
NCPG is the national advocate for people and families affected by problem gambling. NCPG works with all stakeholders to promote responsible gambling. For information on NCPG’s 34th National Conference on Gambling Addiction and Responsible Gambling, visit www.ncpgambling.org/conference.
Maryland Lottery and Gaming operates the Maryland Lottery and is responsible for the oversight of the state’s six casinos. For Lottery information, visit mdlottery.com. Casino information is available at mdgaming.com. Please play responsibly and within your budget.