The National Council on Problem Gambling has issued a pair of pleas, as the US’ Mega Millions and Powerball lottery jackpots each cross the $400m threshold.
The Washington DC-based nonprofit has urged consumers to protect themselves against excessive gambling, as well as calling upon lotteries and the media to promote responsible gambling messages.
“There is a lot of consumer and media interest when jackpots for the Mega Millions or Powerball reach eye-popping numbers,” said Keith Whyte, executive director of NCPG.
“The National Council on Problem Gambling believes these high jackpot occasions present an opportunity to publicise clear responsible gambling messages that help people who choose to gamble make informed decisions about how they play.”
To coincide with its responsible gambling messaging plea, the NCPG, which seeks to minimise the economic and social costs associated with gambling addiction, has outlined five tips that it says consumers should follow.
These are of setting a limit of time and money spent gambling; not gambling to escape feelings of anxiety, stress or depression; knowing where to get help for gambling problems; not gambling with money that is needed to pay bills; and knowing that minors are prohibited from most forms of gambling.
“Lotteries should always include responsible gambling messages, such as the minimum age to play or where those who might engage in problem gambling can seek help,” added Whyte.
“We think it is very important for the media to amplify those messages, especially when large jackpots create significant consumer interest.”