Home Gambling Industry Virginia Lottery dedicates additional resources to fight problem gambling

Virginia Lottery dedicates additional resources to fight problem gambling

28 Mar 2022
3 min. read


Amid the growing variety of gambling options, the regulator in Virginia, the Virginia Lottery, announced last week that it increased its resources dedicated to responsible gambling. Besides fighting gambling addiction, the Lottery is actively seeking to raise awareness about problem gambling.

In its efforts against problem gambling, the regulator joined forces with the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling (VCPG). The collaboration was acknowledged by Glen Youngkin, Virginia's Governor, that also declared March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month in the state.

In a statement released last week, Dr. Carolyn Hawley, Ph.D., President of the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling said that the extra efforts "from the Lottery are timely, as we shine a spotlight on Problem Gambling Awareness Month." Seeking to help individuals who may be suffering from problem gambling, the Virginia Lottery developed a self-help program.

Thanks to the program, problem gamblers can self-exclude themselves from the lottery, sports betting, as well as other gambling activities. The self-exclusion period can be two years, five years or even a lifetime.

The VCPG and the Lottery, in collaboration with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), have also established a Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund. The fund seeks to support financially people who suffer from problem gambling in Virginia. With that in mind, the fund is fueled by gambling revenue collected from casinos and sports betting operators in the state.

Dr. Hawley acknowledged that residents in Virginia can benefit from the new treatment fund and the self-exclusion program. She said that besides raising awareness, people who suffer from problem gambling also need support.

Besides the fund and self-exclusion program, the DBHDS initiated educational seminars. The Lottery explained that those seminars are "designed to help train addiction specialists about gambling addiction."

Gamblers that seek help can also contact the Virginia Problem Gambling Helpline. The toll-free helpline is available 24/7, it is confidential and offers support to individuals who may be suffering from gambling addiction or are at risk of problem gambling. What is more, besides calling, the Problem Gambling Helpline also supports chat and texting options.

Commenting on the topic, Kelly T. Gee, Virginia Lottery's acting executive director, outlined that encouraging responsible gambling and raising awareness about problem gambling are key priorities for the Lottery.

Currently, according to the American Gaming Association, there are 10 legal online/mobile sportsbooks available for residents in Virginia. To help with problem gambling, the operators support responsible gambling options.

The sportsbooks offer residents information and education on problem gambling. Gamblers can also set deposit, wagering, time limits and participate in self-exclusion programs.

Image credit: Pixabay.com

28 Mar 2022
3 min. read