The N.C. Education Lottery’s commitment to build the best practices in responsible gaming into all of its operations has won it the highest level of responsible gaming certification recognized internationally. It is only the 4th U.S. lottery to obtain the certification and the youngest U.S. lottery to do so.

The Level 4 accreditation from the World Lottery Association (WLA) attests that the Education Lottery has implemented responsible gaming practices into its day-to-day operations and is committed to continuous improvement of them. The principles govern the protection of lottery players, cooperation with stakeholders, advertising practices and the monitoring of game activities.

In its assessment, a WLA panel of corporate social responsibility experts wrote it saw “a strong management commitment to responsible gaming” in the lottery’s goals, strategies, policies and procedures. “It is clear … that responsible gaming considerations are embedded in the culture and in the day-to-day operations,” the panel said.

The Education Lottery has followed important principles of responsible gaming since its inception and has worked to strengthen its practices over time. It achieved Level 1 in 2009, Level 2 in 2011, and Level 3 in 2014, and set the goal of obtaining Level 4 as part of its strategic plan.

“Responsible gaming has always been a part of the Education Lottery because we understand that is the expectation of our players and the public we serve,” said Alice Garland, executive director of the lottery. “Our duty is not only to grow our sales and increase the money we raise for a good cause, but to work at the same time to protect the interests of those who enjoy playing lottery games.”

Since the start of the lottery, it has been the sole source of funding for the N.C. Problem Gambling Program - - providing $1 million a year for treatment and counseling and a 24/7 helpline for anyone with a gambling problem. To improve its responsible gaming program, the Education Lottery also has:

• Created a stakeholders panel to review its operations and provide feedback on how to improve.
• Obtained a license to offer a new interactive player education program that will be introduced in the spring.
• Began using a new tool to evaluate new games for risks before they are offered to players.
• Made responsible gaming training mandatory for all lottery employees and retailers who sell lottery tickets.

“This achievement demonstrates how serious the N.C. Education Lottery is about operating games that can be played responsibly in our state,” said state Rep. Jason Saine of Lincolnton, a co-chairman of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on the N.C. State Lottery. “By participating in this program and committing to continuous improvement, the lottery can ensure that it minimizes any harm that could come from games created to serve the public good.”