Illinois Lottery Partners With Problem Gambling Organization To Raise Awareness

Written By Phil West on March 5, 2024 - Last Updated on March 6, 2024
Illinois is raising awareness during Problem Gambling Awareness Month.

The Illinois Lottery is partnering with the Illinois Council on Problem Gambling during Problem Gambling Awareness Month.

Harold Mays, director of the Illinois Lottery, said the alliance is meant to promote the resources available to Illinois residents who may be struggling with gambling issues.

“We are proud to join ICPG and our more than 7,000 retail partners across the state to raise awareness about what problem gambling is and the resources available to get help. We want to remind our players that Illinois Lottery games are intended to be a fun form of entertainment with the purpose of supporting public education and other special causes in Illinois, and should always be played responsibly.”

Throughout March, the Illinois Lottery will promote responsible gambling statewide through various activities and platforms. Those include radio spots, billboard messaging, digital and social media, and direct communications to players and lottery retailers.

Helpline is always available to gamblers in Illinois

According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, which organizes Problem Gambling Awareness Month, the annual month-long observance “seeks to increase public awareness of problem gambling and promote prevention, treatment and recovery services.”

In Illinois, that includes the Illinois Helpline, which assists gamblers in determining if they have problem gambling issues. The Illinois Department of Human Services launched the helpline in 2021 as part of its “Are You Really Winning?” campaign.

At the time of its launch, Substance Use Prevention and Recovery Division Director Laura Garcia said the helpline was designed to give hope to people suffering from gambling issues.

“We are excited to launch this campaign, which will raise awareness of gambling issues and provide help to those who need it. Understanding the signs of problem gambling and knowing that help is confidential and available 24/7 gives people hope that they can recover.”

Dave Wohl, executive director of the Illinois Council on Problem Gambling, stressed that all help is strictly confidential.

“Illinois has seen an increase in marketing and availability of gambling opportunities in recent years. We want anyone who may have a problem with any form of gambling to know that they don’t have to suffer in silence. Immediate, confidential help is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to Illinois residents.”

Around 1% of Americans suffer from gambling disorders

Illinois offers several forms of gambling. Besides 15 casinos and a robust sports betting market, the Illinois Lottery offers online ticket sales, and players can even participate in online-only games.

According to the press release announcing its partnership in March, the Illinois Lottery “is one of nine US lotteries certified to Level 4 by the World Lottery Association under its responsible gaming framework, the highest level of responsible gaming certification recognized internationally.”

While the great majority of people who gamble do not have issues, Yale Medicine notes “gambling disorder affects about 1% of Americans who can’t stop, despite the consequences.”

A gambling disorder is determined via criteria set by the American Psychiatric Association. Those who meet at least four of the nine criteria in a 12-month period have a gambling disorder.

  • Need to gamble with increasing amounts to achieve the desired excitement.
  • Restless or irritable when trying to cut down or stop gambling.
  • Repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back on or stop gambling.
  • Frequent thoughts about gambling (such as reliving past gambling or planning future gambling).
  • Often gambling when feeling distressed.
  • After losing money gambling, often returning to get even. (This is referred to as “chasing” one’s losses.)
  • Lying to hide gambling activity.
  • Risking or losing a close relationship, a job, or a school or job opportunity because of gambling.
  • Relying on others to help with money problems caused by gambling
Phil West Avatar
Written by
Phil West

Phil West is a longtime journalist based in Austin, Texas, whose bylines have appeared in The Daily Dot, Nautilus, Pro Soccer USA, Howler, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Antonio Express-News, Austin American-Statesman, and Austin Chronicle. He has also written two books about soccer.

View all posts by Phil West
Privacy Policy