If compulsive gambling is a concern for you or someone who you care about, please call 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) for confidential assistance. Know the signs. Have the conversation. Please play responsibly.
While most adults can play Pennsylvania Lottery games without issue, we understand that gambling can be problematic for some players. We are committed to promoting responsible play and support the state and national councils on problem gambling. As we work to generate funding to benefit older Pennsylvanians in a socially responsible way, we want to ensure that all of our players always play responsibly. That means playing within their financial means and only for entertainment, and ensuring our players are of legal age.
Know the Warning Signs
Compulsive gambling is a disease, and it's often a hidden one. But it doesn't affect only the victim. Family, friends and co-workers can be affected too. It is a chronic and progressive disease, much like alcoholism or drug addiction.
How do you know if you or someone you care about has a problem? Here are some warning signs to look for:
- Denying there is a problem
- Lying about where the money is going
- Borrowing money to gamble or pay off debts
- Taking time off work to gamble
- Losing touch with friends
- Looking for the "high" that comes from gambling
Help is Available
In Pennsylvania, help is provided by experts at the Pennsylvania Compulsive Gambling Hotline or 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537). Players can also reach out via the website Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania, where they can access the helpline by phone, text or chat.
When players call the Pennsylvania Problem Gambling Helpline, they are referred to professionals who can provide assistance to persons with gambling problems.
Please Play Responsibly
Playing the lottery responsibly means:
- Understanding that Lottery games are not suitable for children. Whether buying a ticket for yourself or as a gift, Pennsylvania Lottery players must be 18 or older. Tickets are not toys.
- Setting a budget and playing only within your financial means.
- Understanding the chances of winning and not chasing losses.
- Not letting play interfere with work or family obligations.
- Taking a break or stop playing entirely if playing stops being fun.
RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING TOOLS
Verified Proof of Age and Identity
By law, players must be 18 or older to play the PA Lottery, and online players must be located within the state of Pennsylvania to play games online and win prizes. Before allowing and setting up online accounts for players, the PA Lottery performs electronic verification to verify the identity and ages of all players.
Never allow children to play PA Lottery games and do not leave a computer or mobile device unattended while logged in to your online account.
Before deciding to play traditional or online games, set your limits.
For traditional game players, such as Scratch-Offs or Draw Games, players may want to set a budget when they use their entertainment funds to help ensure they are playing responsibly.
Online players can set their own limits within their account. These include a session time limit; a deposit limit and/or a spend limit. Consider setting a combination of those limits. Select “Responsible Gaming” from the “My Account” tab.
Online players can review their account statements as a way to monitor their own activities with a goal of playing responsibly. Select “Account Statement” from the “My Account” tab. Please note that this information applies only to online games and does not track purchases of lottery games sold in stores.
Online players are able to schedule a cool-off period from 3 days to 30 days in length by selecting “Responsible Gaming” from the “My Account” tab. During that time, they will be unable to access their online account and any related funds.
Players are encouraged to understand the restrictions and limitations associated with a cool-off period before utilizing this tool. When the cool-off period ends, access to will be automatically restored to the respective account.
Please note that a cool-off period at PA Lottery does not stop players from playing lottery tickets sold in stores, but it will prevent players from entering any qualifying tickets into online Second-Chance Drawings.
The self-exclusion option exists for online players for a period of one year
or five years
. Learn more about this option by selecting “Responsible Gaming” from the “My Account” tab. Before asking to self-exclude, here are a few important things to consider:
- All self-exclusion requests must come from the individual making the request (you cannot submit a request on behalf of someone else).
- Self-exclusion is a binding legal agreement that cannot be ended early.
- Accounts are not automatically restored when the period ends.
Self-exclusion does not stop players from playing lottery tickets sold in stores, but it will prevent players from entering any qualifying tickets into online Second-Chance Drawings.
Self-exclusion from PA Lottery online play does not restrict participation in other forms of gambling, such as playing at a casino. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board maintains a separate self-exclusion program for people who wish to be restricted from entering casinos. If you have placed yourself on one list, you may wish to place yourself on the other.
The Recovery Process
The first step comes from recognizing there's a problem and asking for help. Help is there for those who need it. The Pennsylvania Compulsive Gambling Helpline can help you get in touch with support groups such as Gamblers Anonymous and Gam-Anon. These support groups can help in the recovery process.
Recognition and a sincere desire to stop gambling are all a person needs to start the recovery process.
Contact the Pennsylvania Compulsive Gambling Hotline to learn more.