|For Immediate Release||Contact: Chanele Newton 312-368-5814|
Chicago, IL—February 28, 2013 —In honor of National Problem Gambling Awareness Month (March), the Illinois Lottery is teaming up with the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) to raise awareness about excessive gambling and where people can go for help. Illinois Lottery Superintendent Michael Jones will mark the observance of Problem Gambling Awareness Week by joining fellow industry experts in a panel discussion on March 5 at Haymarket Center, 932 W. Washington Street, in Chicago.
According to the NCPG, more than six million Americans disclose a gambling problem each year. The Illinois Lottery is involved in on-going efforts to promote responsible gaming, educate its retailers on the signs of gambling addiction, and promote a toll-free hotline that people can access 24 hours a day for help.
Towards that end, the Illinois Lottery is creating a series of public service messages aimed at: eliminating excessive Lottery play; preventing underage play; gifting responsibly; recognizing the signs of problem gambling; and knowing where problem gamblers can turn for help.
“The Illinois Lottery is committed to raising awareness about responsible gaming year-round,” said Lottery Superintendent, Michael Jones. “We encourage adults who are so inclined to play the Lottery because it is fun, and it provides substantial funding for a host of good causes. But we want everyone to play responsibly, and strongly encourage those with gambling problems to seek professional help. One way to find such assistance is by calling the 24-hour, toll-free gambling hotline printed on the back of every Lottery ticket (800-252-1775).”
The Illinois Lottery generates revenue that supports K-12 public education, capital improvements, and job creation statewide. Additionally, the Lottery proudly offers four unique, specialty instant games whose proceeds support Illinois Veterans, the fight against breast cancer, Multiple Sclerosis research, and people living with HIV/AIDS.
The Illinois Lottery also supports the problem-gambling treatment community. Throughout the year, the Lottery and its private management consortium, Northstar Lottery Group, collaborate with the National Council on Problem Gambling, the Illinois Council on Problem Gambling, and various treatment providers across Illinois that render problem-gambling services to individuals and their families.
This year marks the second year that the Illinois Lottery is participating in activities during National Problem Gambling Awareness Month. For more than 15 years the Illinois Lottery has helped fund operations of a telephone hotline that people can call 24 hours a day to reach a professional, problem-gambling counselor. The hotline number is 800-252-1775.
About Illinois Lottery
Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed $17.5 billion to the state Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools, as well as the Capital Projects Fund. Players must be at least 18 years old.