An estimated 560,000 to 1.12 million people in Washington are harmed by gambling addiction
Olympia, WA (March 6, 2023) – Washington’s Lottery supports responsible gambling year-round, but is especially proud to support the cause this March during the 21st year of Problem Gambling Awareness Month declared by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG). With support from Governor Jay Inslee, Washington State has also adopted March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month. Washington’s Lottery is a strong supporter and active participant of responsible gambling and aims to spread awareness about problem gambling, while also providing resources to help those struggling.
“Washington’s Lottery is proud to continue our partnership with the Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling to spread awareness and provide resources for those impacted by problem gambling,” said Marcus Glasper, Director of Washington’s Lottery. “We want to encourage all players to practice responsible gambling all year round by keeping it fun and knowing their personal limits.”
To help those who are struggling with problem gambling, Washington’s Lottery has instituted many national best practices in support of responsible gambling as verified by the National Council on Problem Gambling. For example, Washington’s Lottery offers a resource for players intended to help people control or limit their gambling, allowing them to voluntarily exclude themselves from lottery activities. A person who has voluntarily self-excluded from the Lottery cannot win a cash or promotional prize over $600 or any second chance prize within the state of Washington. More information can be found at https://www.walottery.com/responsibility/SelfExclusion.aspx.
According to the NCPG and the Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling (ECPG), in Washington, approximately 80,000 to 160,000 residents wrestle with problem gambling, a serious public health issue that doesn’t just affect the individual struggling. It is estimated that for every person impacted by gambling disorder, at least 7 to 11 people they are surrounded by also experience financial, relationship, and mental health issues as a result. This means that in Washington, approximately 560,000 to 1.12 million people may be impacted by problem gambling overall.
“Problem gambling is a public health issue that has been considered a hidden addiction and stigmatized for far too long,” said Maureen Greeley, Executive Director of ECPG. “Problem Gambling Awareness Month is an important part of our awareness and advocacy efforts as we aim to promote responsible gambling throughout the year through prevention, treatment, and recovery services available in the Northwest.”
ECPG’s Washington State Problem Gambling Helpline is available to everyone at 1.800.547.6133 for those who are concerned about problem gambling. The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and callers will be referred to counseling services available in their area, including low- and no-fee options. Information about problem gambling in Washington, including resources to help those struggling with problem gambling, is available at www.evergreencpg.org. More information can be found on The National Council on Problem Gambling’s website at www.ncpgambling.com.
Making a Difference in Washington State
Since 1982, Washington’s Lottery has generated more than $4.5 billion to support several important state programs, including providing much-needed funds for the Washington Opportunity Pathways Account (WOPA). In FY21, WOPA received $185.7 million from the Lottery, enough to pay college tuition for more than 18,000 Washington residents. It also provided approximately 25% of the annual budget for the state’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program, which provides critical services to more than 15,000 children at 440 locations across Washington.
Washington’s Lottery Beneficiary Fact – April 2022
Washington’s Lottery is very proud to be a financial supporter of the state’s Early Childhood Education & Assistance Program (ECEAP). The $40 million annual investment the lottery makes in ECEAP has lasting effects. Children who participate in ECEAP are more likely to be kindergarten-ready than non-participants, and those who participate five or more hours per day are especially prepared in reading and math.* Children in state-funded pre-K programs like ECEAP see long-lasting positive effects, including increased grade progression, high school graduation and college enrollment.**
About Washington’s Lottery: The state’s Lottery offers consumers several types of games, including Mega Millions, Powerball, Lotto, Hit 5, Match 4, Pick 3, Daily Keno and Scratch. For more information, visit www.walottery.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @walottery.
Keep it fun. Know your limit. Washington’s Lottery is an advocate for responsible gaming and collaborates with the Evergreen Council for Problem Gambling to provide resources for those in need. More information is available at www.walottery.com/Responsibility.
Dan Miller (Curator on behalf of Washington’s Lottery)
Xiamara Garza (Curator on behalf of Washington’s Lottery)
* Early Learning Feedback Report. https://erdc.wa.gov/data-dashboards/early-learning-feedback-report-0
** Boston Public Schools Department of Early Childhood. (n.d.). Boston universal pre-K. Retrieved June 9, 2021, from https://www.bpsearlylearning.org/boston-upk