Agency emphasizes importance of playing lottery and casino games responsibly

Maryland Lottery and Gaming is proud to support a nationwide campaign to raise awareness and to encourage responsible play. Lottery and gaming organizations across the country have joined the National Council on Problem Gambling to promote March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month.

“We’re very serious about our commitment to responsible gaming initiatives, especially our player education efforts,” said Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director Gordon Medenica. “As part of that commitment, it’s important that people know what resources are available to them.”

Maryland residents are eligible for problem gambling assessment and treatment services free of charge through the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling. Information is available at helpmygamblingproblem.org, or by calling 1-800-GAMBLER for free, confidential assistance 24 hours a day. Maryland’s casino operators provide funding for responsible gambling programs which totaled more than $4.6 million during Fiscal Year 2017, in support of the Center of Excellence.

In 2010, Maryland Lottery and Gaming formed the Maryland Alliance for Responsible Gambling (MARG) in partnership with the Center of Excellence and other stakeholders. MARG provides a framework for collaboration and communication between the gaming and problem gambling treatment communities. More information and resources can be found on MARG’s website, mdgamblinghelp.org.

Beyond these collaborative efforts, Maryland Lottery and Gaming has joined national and international organizations that require the agency to continually evaluate and enhance its responsible gambling initiatives.

In 2017, Maryland was one of four states recognized in a best practices verification program jointly sponsored by the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL) and the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG). Participating in this program enables the Lottery to receive regular assessments and reviews of its responsible gambling efforts.

The Maryland Lottery is also pursuing advanced recognition from the World Lottery Association (WLA), a global organization that has four levels of responsible gambling certification. Agency staff are developing employee and retailer education programs that will form the backbone of an application for the WLA’s Level 3 designation. Implementing the WLA’s Responsible Gaming Principles and Framework will also require the Maryland Lottery to sharpen its marketing, advertising and research efforts in order to meet high standards of corporate and social responsibility.

“We’re in the entertainment business, and it’s important that our players see the Lottery and the casinos as sources of fun,” Medenica said. “We encourage people to play within their means and to remember that everyone wins when you play responsibly.”

Maryland Lottery and Gaming has operated Maryland’s lottery since 1973 and serves as regulator of the state’s casinos. For Lottery information, visit mdlottery.com. Casino information is available at gaming.mdlottery.com. Please play responsibly and within your budget.