LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) – March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month, and the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery (ASL) wants to spread the word that help is available around the clock to those who need it.
“We are dedicating March to helping people ‘have the conversation’ about problem gambling,” said Bishop Woosley, ASL director. “Approximately 2 percent of U.S. adults are considered problem gamblers; yet for many, gambling remains a hidden addiction.
“The mission of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is to provide proceeds for scholarships in a responsible way. We want people to remember that lottery should be considered entertainment and not a way to make money.”
Last summer the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery received Responsible Gambling Certification from the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries and the National Council on Problem Gambling. The certification involves a multi-step verification program to ensure the lottery provides best practices in training for lottery employees and retailers and treatment options for players who may have a gambling problem.
Problem Gambling Awareness Month is designed to help raise awareness of the prevention, treatment and recovery services available for those adversely affected by gambling.
Woosley said problem gambling includes all gambling behavior that damages personal, family or vocational pursuits. In extreme cases, problem gambling can result in financial ruin, legal problems, loss of career and family or suicide.
According to the National Council of Problem Gambling, most problem gamblers will answer yes to at least one of the following questions:
- Have you often gambled longer than you had planned?
- Have you gambled until your last dollar was gone?
- Have thoughts of gambling caused you to lose sleep?
- Have you used your income or savings to gamble while letting bills go unpaid?
- Have you attempted to stop gambling, but couldn’t?
- Have you borrowed money to finance gambling?
- Have you gambled to get money or to meet financial obligations?
- Have you felt remorseful after gambling?
- Have you felt depressed or suicidal because of gambling losses?
- Have you broken the law or considered it to finance gambling?
Problem gambling is a preventable and treatable disorder. If gambling is causing a problem for you or someone you know, help is available. Call or text the 24-hour confidential National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700, visit ncpgambling.org or contact Gamblers Anonymous at gamblersanonymous.org.