NCEL’s Play Smart To Educate Lottery Players

By Ben Hamill - January 25 2020

NCEL’s Play Smart To Educate Lottery Players

Whenever conversations around problem gambling behaviour are had, national Lottery games tend to be overlooked. And yet, these do classify as gambling games too. The North Carolina Education Lottery (NCEL) recently became the first Lottery in the history of the US to have introduced and launched a program that focuses specifically on the education of players regarding safe gambling practices and with a strong emphasis on a preventative approach.

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Play Smart is said to act “essentially as a Lottery coach” and includes educational video material being distributed among players as well as a television advertising campaign scheduled to launch later on this month. The campaign will evolve around the topic of problem gambling. This will furthermore not be a once-off kind of deal, as the initial campaign will be followed by a second campaign to be launched in March, which is of course National Problem Gambling Awareness Month.

The Key Is Education

The NCEL has furthermore confirmed that more tips and tools will be added to Play Smart as time wears on and that promotional and informative material regarding the program will be made available at all retail outlets where Lottery products are sold.

What the NCEL hopes to achieve via Play Smart is to properly educate players not only about the importance of setting a rigorous budget in terms of Lottery spend, but also about setting time as well as spend limits when engaging in Lottery games. Play Smart will encourage Lotto enthusiasts to complete a 10-question quiz that will be made available on the NCEL’s website. The quick quiz will help players to self-realise the potential effects of gaming on “everyday life”.

Adding Value To Existing Program

Mark Michalko, who is the Executive Director of the NCEL, points out that those players who play Lottery games in a responsible manner aren’t the ones to typically develop a problem with gambling games. The idea behind Smart Play, says Michalko, is to educate players on how to approach Lottery games from a responsible point of view, thus enabling them to make better decision in general and by so doing, steer clear of the dangers of possibly developing an addiction to gambling.

The latest initiative launched by the NCEL apparently builds on an existing responsible gambling initiative. The existing initiative includes free treatment to players who approach the NCEL for help and has to date donated some $1 million every year to North Carolina’s Problem Gambling Program.

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