Agency joins national observance of March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month
With March designated as Problem Gambling Awareness Month, Maryland Lottery and Gaming strongly emphasizes responsible play and encourages Marylanders to learn about confidential free and low-cost problem gambling resources.
“We want people to enjoy playing our games responsibly and always within their budget,” said Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director Gordon Medenica. “We’re committed to being an exceptional corporate citizen of Maryland, and we want people to know that the state is committed to providing help for those who need it.”
The Agency joins the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling in observing Program Gambling Awareness Month. Promoting responsible play is top priority for the Agency, which mandates that employees and Lottery retailers receive training to assist players. In addition, the agency’s Voluntary Exclusion Program can assist problem gamblers in stopping their Lottery or casino play.
Maryland Lottery and Gaming encourages everyone to keep their game play fun and entertaining, and to learn about the games we offer. For example, the Maryland Lottery’s website lists the odds of winning for each of our games. Take a look before you play. Set a limit on the amount that you decide to wager. Know your game, know its rules, know the odds and know your limits.
All Maryland casinos pay annual assessments to support responsible gaming programs, such as problem gambling treatment. In Fiscal Year 2020, these contributions totaled nearly $3.8 million. Maryland residents are eligible to receive no-cost problem gambling counseling by calling or texting the Center of Excellence at 1-800-426-2537. Individuals can also receive help by going to helpmygamblingproblem.org or by calling NCPG at 1-800-522-4700.
“Individuals who struggle with problematic gambling behaviors can negatively affect others around them,” said Mary Drexler, MSW, Program Director at the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling. “If you, or someone you know is struggling with problems caused by their gambling, we can connect you to a number of resources, including “no cost” counseling or a Peer Support Specialist for a conversation with ‘someone who has been there.’”
To join NCPG in promoting March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month, the Maryland Lottery is launching an advertising campaign with a “Play Responsibly” theme, as well as a “Play Responsibly page on mdlottery.com. The ads will appear on television and radio stations across the state, as well as on billboards, digital streaming services and social media.
As part of its ongoing commitment to a culture of corporate social responsibility, Maryland Lottery and Gaming has earned Level 3 certification from the World Lottery Association (WLA), the lottery industry’s international leader in responsible gambling standards. The Agency is currently pursuing Level 4, the WLA’s highest certification, by documenting organization-wide efforts to enhance and expand its emphasis on responsible play and develop new initiatives and messaging programs. The Agency plans to submit its application for WLA Level 4 status in 2022.
All of these efforts build on Maryland Lottery and Gaming’s 2010 creation of 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 is available on MARG’s website, mdgamblinghelp.org.