California Lottery Joins Statewide Problem Gambling Awareness Month Effort
SACRAMENTO – Every year the California Lottery (Lottery) joins a national effort to promote the Problem Gambling Helpline, 1-800-GAMBLER, during National Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM) in March. The Lottery and PGAM partners collectively increase messaging throughout the state to raise awareness of the serious issue of problem gambling while emphasizing that free treatment services are available by calling 1-800-GAMBLER.
This year’s campaign theme, Steps Toward a Brighter Future, focuses on the positive impact treatment has for problem gamblers and their family, friends and associates. The campaign encourages affected individuals to take the first step towards recovery by calling the 1-800-GAMBLER Helpline. The Helpline offers callers a brief intervention and crisis stabilization and it directs them to treatment. It is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Lottery partially funds the 1-800-GAMBLER Helpline via an Interagency Agreement with the California Department of Public Health’s Office of Problem Gambling (OPG).
Since 2010, the California Gambling Education and Treatment Services (CalGETS), administered by the OPG, has provided treatment to thousands of individuals who have suffered negative impacts on their lives due to a gambling disorder. Problem gamblers, and those who are affected by problem gambling, can receive referrals to treatment services, at no cost by calling or texting the Helpline or by visiting OPG’s website. Treatment services are provided as a stepped-care approach from brief interventions using self-help workbooks, one-on-one counseling and residential care. Clients have the ability to choose the services that best fit their needs. All treatment services are confidential and provided by licensed mental health providers specially trained in the treatment of problem gambling behavior.
The Lottery uses its communications channels and platforms to promote the 1-800-GAMBLER Helpline on its draw game tickets, social media channels, the official Lottery website, regional and ethnic newspaper advertisements and at more than 22,000 Lottery retail locations. The campaign messaging is also shared with the Lottery’s retail partners through the availability of Responsible Gambling Guidelines brochures. This campaign is developed and made possible in coordination with the California Department of Public Health’s OPG.
The Lottery is a World Lottery Association (WLA) Level 4 recipient, which is the highest form of Responsible Gaming (RG) recognition. Every year the Lottery continues to improve its business plan to ensure that RG considerations are part of its daily operations.
Since its inception, the Lottery has remained committed to being a responsible corporate citizen that strives to ensure the highest standards of RG. In fact, the California Lottery is the first lottery in the United States to hold a Level 4 certification from the WLA.
For more information on National Problem Gambling Month, visit OPG’s website at http://problemgambling.ca.gov. To learn more about the California Lottery’s Responsible Gaming Program visit www.californialottery.com.
The California Lottery is a $6 billion enterprise based in Sacramento. It is one of the few state agencies that is a revenue generator, not accepting taxpayer dollars from the State’s General Fund. Its mission is to provide supplemental funding to California schools while simultaneously supporting local communities. In FY 2016-17, the Lottery created 83 new millionaires. Ninety-five cents of every dollar spent by our players goes back to local communities in the form of contributions to public schools and colleges, prizes and retail compensation. The California Lottery urges its customers to play responsibly and within their budgets. If you feel you have a gambling problem, or know someone who does, you can get help at 1-800-GAMBLER.