2023 National Problem Gambling Awareness Month

March is National Problem Gambling Awareness Month

This month and every month, the Virginia Lottery is committed to raising awareness about the issue of problem gambling, which can be a hidden but costly addiction. Fortunately, there are resources to help those who may have a gambling addiction or those who may suspect a family member/loved one has a gambling addiction.

Most people can play games of chance without problems. However, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), an estimated 2 million U.S. adults (1% of the population) meet the criteria for pathological gambling or, in other words, have a full-blown addiction. Another 4 million to 6 million U.S. adults (2% - 3% of the population) are estimated to have a mild or moderate gambling problem, according to the NCPG. 

The Virginia Lottery has expanded its Play Responsibly page into a microsite filled with information, resources and where to go for help or with questions.

The Virginia Problem Gambling Helpline, 1-888-532-3500, is a great resource. It’s toll-free and confidential. You can call, text or chat any time. All Virginia Lottery tickets and most printed advertising materials contain the number. Materials with problem gambling resources also are available in Spanish.

Virginia’s Voluntary Exclusion Program (VEP) allows players to opt out of certain state-regulated gambling activities for a set period or for life. This program, which is operated by the Lottery, includes account-based Lottery, mobile sports betting, any form of casino gaming, horse racing and historical horse race wagering, as well as gaming activities sponsored by charitable organizations.

If you think you or a loved one may have a gambling problem, we strongly encourage you to make use of the resources available in Virginia.

Last updated 3/3/23