National Problem Gambling Awareness Week in Virginia

Posted at 12:37 PM, Mar 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-05 12:37:37-05

Lottery Mania

The Virginia Lottery is marking National Problem Gambling Awareness Week, March 3-9, 2013, with the release of two new public service announcements (PSAs) for television and radio, encouraging responsible play. That’s according to a news release on Tuesday, March 5, 2013.

The first PSA, titled “Play Responsibly,” promotes the Virginia Problem Gambling Helpline, which assists people who think they or loved ones may have a gambling problem.  It emphasizes that a problem gambler can make a positive change by seeking help. The second PSA, titled “Play by the Rules,” reminds Virginians that it is against state law to buy or sell lottery tickets to anyone younger than 18. Both television and radio spots include English and Spanish versions, and will air across the Commonwealth.

The Virginia Problem Gambling Helpline is a toll-free number, (888) 532-3500.

Helpline operators can answer questions and provide callers with information and referrals such as Gamblers Anonymous chapters in Virginia.

All Virginia Lottery tickets and most printed advertising materials contain the phone number.

Along with funding the Virginia Problem Gambling Helpline, the Lottery maintains a “Play Responsibly” page on its Web site, with information and links to the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling, the National Council on Problem Gambling and Gamblers Anonymous.

To show its support of National Problem Gambling Awareness Week, no lottery television or radio advertising will air March 3-9.

Here is a statement from Virginia Lottery officials:

“Although most people can play games of chance without ill effects, there are some for whom gambling can be harmful.  That is why the message from the Lottery is simple: have fun and play responsibly.”