August 1, 2013 – Thursday marked the beginning of Missouri’s Responsible Gaming Education Month, and the Missouri Lottery announced the launch of a self-exclusion program designed to help problem gamblers reduce their incentives to play.
In cooperation with the Missouri Alliance to Curb Problem Gambling, the Lottery will allow players to voluntarily add their names to a list of “flagged” players, which will put a lifetime threshold on the prize amounts they can win.
Executive director of the Missouri Lottery, May Scheve Reardon, said that the Lottery has “an obligation to our players to operate in a socially responsible manner.”
Reardon explained that the maximum amount a player could collect on a winning lottery ticket was $600, as prizes over that amount must be claimed at one of the Lottery’s regional offices.
“We have over 5,000 retailers across the state, so enforcing a program at each retail location is not possible,” she added.
Statistics suggest that the number of problem gamblers in Missouri is rather low. A 2010 survey called the Missouri Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System found that about 40 percent of Missourians gamble.
Only 0.4 percent said their gambling had led to financial troubles, and half that many said problems in their personal lives had stemmed from their gambling.
“Even though the survey indicates that the number of problem gamblers in Missouri is low, we want to do our part to deter those struggling with an addiction from playing our games,” Reardon said.