May 21, 2013 – Maryland Lottery officials announced Tuesday that problem gamblers in the state now have a resource to keep them from playing the lottery. Maryland is the third state in the country to offer this type of lottery exclusion program.
Maryland launched the exclusion program after the state’s first casino opened in 2011. People who sign up for the casino exclusion program agree to be cited and fined for trespassing if they are found in a Maryland casino.
With the expansion of the program to include the lottery, people on the exclusion list will be required to forfeit any prize they win on lottery games, and players can sign on for either a two year or lifelong term.
Lottery director Stephen Martino told the Baltimore Sun that “The expanded program reflects our continued commitment to promote responsible gaming.”
Forfeited winnings collected by the exclusion program go directly to the Maryland Problem Gambling Fund.
Despite its good intentions, Joanna Franklin, the Director of the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Center for Problem Gambling, has her doubts.
“It’s not going to help very many people,” Franklin told the Baltimore Sun, adding that people on the exclusion list will likely find someone else to cash in winning tickets.
Though Franklin would rather see the state fund advertising for Problem Gambling helplines, Martino called the program “an effective tool of personal responsibility,” in a press release from the Maryland Lottery.
Those who wish to sign up for the exclusion program must do so at the Maryland Lottery headquarters in Baltimore, or in one of the state’s casinos.
For the 200 or so players already on the casino exclusion list, information about the voluntary lottery exclusion program will be mailed to their homes.