MARCH 1-7 MARKS 7TH ANNUAL PROBLEM GAMBLING AWARENESS WEEK
The Oklahoma Lottery Encourages Individuals At Risk to Seek Help
Oklahoma City (March 2, 2009)—The first week in March marks the 7th Annual Problem Gambling Awareness Week—a grassroots outreach campaign by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) with advocacy support shared by the Oklahoma Lottery and organizations throughout the United States. This year’s theme is, “Real Addiction, Real Recovery.”
“We’re always looking for ways to increase public awareness about the warning signs of problem gambling and the programs and services available that provide help,” said Jim Scroggins, executive director of the Oklahoma Lottery. “It’s important for everyone in the community to understand these signs and recognize someone who may have a gambling problem.”
To help, the NCPG has provided PSAs on YouTube at www.youtube.com/NPGAW2009 as well as a variety of resources online at www.npgaw.org.
In addition, Scroggins encourages players to take a moment and assess their gaming activities.
The warning signs of problem gambling include: thinking constantly about gambling; increasing bets to sustain the thrill; exhibiting agitation when cutting back on gambling; gambling as an escape; “chasing” or trying to offset losses with more gambling; lying to conceal gambling activity; financing bets through illegal acts; jeopardizing significant relationships with family.
Exhibiting five or more of the following compulsive gambling symptoms may indicate a gambling problem.
According to the NCPG, six to nine million Americans will have a gambling problem in any given year but only a small fraction will seek out services, such as treatment and self-help recovery programs.
“There are several agencies providing help and support to Oklahomans,” said Scroggins. Since its launch in 2005, the Oklahoma Lottery has contributed more than $1 million to the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services toward education and treatment of compulsive gambling.
About the Oklahoma Lottery
Net proceeds of all Lottery games are used to support improvements and enhancements for Oklahoma education. More than $250 million has been contributed to education since November 2005 with funds directed to the higher education capital bond issue and funds directed to the Oklahoma Education Lottery Trust Fund (OELTF). The Oklahoma Legislature appropriates the OELTF.
Proceeds are used statewide to supplement existing funds for a variety of important education purposes, including: teacher compensation and benefits, early childhood development programs, college scholarships, classroom technology and construction of educational facilities.
For more information about the Oklahoma Lottery, please visit www.lottery.ok.gov.