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What is Problem Gambling?

Not all people who gamble have a problem, but sometimes it’s hard to determine if you do.
While the possibility and thrill of winning a prize makes the lottery fun, it’s important to remember that playing is a form of entertainment. If you or a loved one experiences an urge to gamble despite harmful consequences or a desire to stop, then you might want to learn more about problem gambling and resources that are available to help.

Know the Signs

People who gamble do not start out with a problem. But over time it can turn into one, making it difficult to see the bigger picture. Being able to recognize the warning signs of the problem gambler may be able to help you or a friend in the future.

  • Have you ever felt the need to bet more and more money?
  • Have you ever lied to people important to you about how much you gambled?
  • Have you repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back or stop gambling?
  • Have you ever relied on others to provide money to relieve a desperate financial situation caused by gambling?
  • Do you gamble as a way of escaping emotional or physical pain?
  • Have you ever jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job or career opportunity because of gambling?
  • Have you gambled to get money with which to pay debts or to solve other financial problems?
  • Have you borrowed money to finance your gambling?
  • Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
  • Do you gamble to try to get your money back?

Reduce the Risks

Take steps to reduce your chances of developing a gambling problem.

  • Think of the lottery as a form of entertainment only and not as a way to make money.
  • Be cognizant of your emotions and never gamble as a way to escape negative feelings.
  • Decide in advance how much you’re prepared to spend in a given time-frame and stick to it.
  • Keep track of your wins and losses.
  • Do not chase losses.
  • If family or friends voice concern, listen to them.

Looking for help? You’re not alone.

If gambling has become a problem, there is hope. Free, confidential help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Is it time to take a break? We can help.

If you play our games through subscription or Play at the Pump, you always have the option to take a break. NCEL offers our players the option to voluntary exclude themselves from being able to purchase tickets. From one week to ten years or more, you can control your playing.

Buy, Scan, and Check tickets with the NC Lottery Official Mobile App.