The Pennsylvanian lottery may be in trouble, but what trouble is this exactly? On the one hand there’s the coming Department of Justice (DOJ) decision which will effectively throw a big spanner in the works. Even though it has been suggested that the DOJ wouldn’t be so foolish as to target lotteries, the danger is an ever present one.
The PA lottery currently generates $4 billion a year, which is quite the significant sum, especially when given the fact that the state’s allocating $1 billion of that amount to directly support various retirement funds. All legal bickering aside, though, lottery officials are now concerned about an entirely new issue – compulsive gaming
In the words of Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko, PA’s lottery operator is currently reviewing the link between playing the lottery and compulsive gaming. A similar move has been undertaken by the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania:
We don’t want anybody playing who may have a problem. We are not problem gambling experts just like we are not budget experts and senior program experts. We partner with problem gambling experts.
Mr. Svitko has taken the time to address compulsive gambling concerns by saying that the PA lottery has been investing a massive effort into supporting a gaming environment that presupposes responsible gambling practices. More than that, the Council on Compulsive Gambling has been offering help in the form of 24/7 hotlines as well as other initiatives.
A number of much-necessary guidelines and tools have been established in order to limit the negative effects of developing an obsessive gambling disorder. Apart from that, much effort has gone into prevention.
Putting a Clock on Gaming Sessions
One of the ways to help individuals self-check themselves is by making it easier for them to track the time they have been spending gambling. iLotteries have been particularly successful when it comes to monitoring gamers’ activity, and most importantly – letting players know how much they have been playing.
By using a real-time tracker, gamers can see their total amount spent as well as the time of the day and their own session. By giving such awareness, experts believe that compulsive gamers are more likely to doubt themselves and seek help out of their own volition.
According to the Council, Pennsylvania does have its fair share of people who struggle with iLottery games. The Lottery also keeps number of such individuals and if it suspects that there have been too many reported cases, then a new social campaign begins to remind people that it “only takes one ticket to win”. The lottery has known a few challenges, including from casinos, but as an institution, it’s immovable.
While the risks of gaming are very palpable, there have been established ways to prevent severe cases of addiction. PA has had enough time to teach itself the best practices awaiting the full launch of its iGaming industry.