Concerns Raised Over Dangers of Lottery Gambling Addiction

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In general, lottery is accepted as a safe way of gambling and in the US, even those states that are anti-gambling tend to tolerate it. However, it is now being claimed that this acceptance has created an addiction that is harder to detect and is not properly acknowledged.

In a recent report on ABC News Live, Tvonia Thomas spoke about how she developed an addiction to scratch cards and that they “consumed” her life. Specialists are now sounding the alarm over the games and state officials in Virginia and elsewhere have begun to take a look at lottery gambling addiction.

Research from the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland found that those most likely to be affected are low-income and minority players. Part of the reason for this is thought to be where shops selling scratch cards are located.

Lotteries directly contribute to state budgets, which is why they have been widely tolerated. A private operator usually runs the games with the majority of the winnings going to the state’s budget.

However, a new group called Stop Predatory Gambling, is claiming that the funds raised for states often come from those who can least afford it and that not enough attention has been paid to this when compared to slots and sports gambling.

One aspect of the problem is a simple lack of funding for state programs that are designed to address the issue. While industry groups work hard to spread responsible gambling advice, it is more focused on avoiding offshore and illegal operators. Now groups are beginning to call for more funds to be given to programs that are directly fighting gambling addiction.

Virginia responded to ABC’s report and said that it has worked hard to increase awareness of both problem gambling and gambling addiction.

While Virginia law requires all lottery profits to go to K-12 education, the lottery has been repeatedly recognized as a leader in the industry when it comes to using its resources and high public profile to raise awareness and encourage responsible play.

SpokespersonVirginia Lottery

However, while that may be the case, there is a growing consensus that not enough focus has been given to the dangers of lottery games.

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