Arkansas Lottery to help gamblers

Friday September 11th 2009

Lottery officials have announced that they have decided to use some of the start up funds from the Arkansas Lottery to help gamblers. They plan to use the lottery money to train councillors and set up a special network to support those people who have a gambling problem.

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State law says that all lottery games must fund some kind of gambling programme for problem gamblers. However tickets are not due to go on sale for the Arkansas lottery until 28th September, but Arkansas Lottery Director Ernie Passailaigue, is keen to speed up the process and will be asking members to approve giving $200,000 to the Department of Human Services to help fund the programme.

The National Council on Problem Gambling, who operate a national hot line, is where calls will be directed to. The service already receives approximately 325 calls a month from Arkansas, but very few are from people with a gambling problem.

However, once people are able to buy lottery tickets for the Arkansas Lottery, it is inevitable that these figures will rise dramatically as time goes on. Lottery games always generate huge ticket sales, as the prizes are so huge. This in turn, will automatically create problems gamblers and it seems that the Arkansas Lottery officials have already recognised this and are making moves to act swiftly.

The State plans to provide start up grants for services treating gambling addiction by November 1st. There are also plans in place for Gamblers Anonymous programmes for those cities within the state that need them.


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