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SCEL launches new play responsibly message

COLUMBIA, S.C. – As the inaugural National Problem Gambling Awareness Weeks kicks off, the South Carolina Educational Lottery (SCEL) will launch its newest play responsibly message, urging players to play responsibly and to seek help if they have a gambling problem. During the week of March 10-16, communities nationwide will raise awareness of the consequences of problem gambling and the resources available for individuals whose gambling is causing disruption in their lives.

“Our staff produced, in house, a new play responsible public service announcement that will air statewide this week,”said SCEL Executive Director, Ernie Passailaigue. “As with any product, we know there is some over indulgence. We are taking every means to be proactive to that regard.”

The National Council on Problem Gambling defines problem gambling as behavior that causes disruptions in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social or vocational. Problem gambling has a broad severity spectrum and its cause appears to be related to several factors. According to the Association of Problem Gambling Service Administrators, some of the more common signs and symptoms of problem gambling include:

 Gambling to calm nerves, forget worries, or reduce depression
 Losing interest in other things, such as food
 Talking about, thinking about, or planning to gamble and not doing other activities
 Lying about gambling habits
 Gambling alone or gambling more often
 Getting into arguments about gambling
 Going without basic needs in order to gamble
 Needing to gamble more and more money in order to get the desired effect
 Experiencing health problems related to gambling like lethargy, headaches, anxiety and depression
 Having financial problems caused by gambling

Treatment for problem or compulsive gambling is not only available, but also effective in improving the lives of problem gamblers and their families. In South Carolina, information regarding local gambling addiction services can be obtained by calling 1-888-SC-PREVENTS. Nationally, persons who believe they may have a gambling problem can seek help by calling a 24-hour confidential hotline at 1-800-522-4700.

The National Problem Gambling Awareness Week is a collaborative effort sponsored by the National Council on Problem Gambling, the Association of Problem Gambling Service Administrators and local organizations nationwide. For more information about the campaign log on to www.sceducationlottery.com for a direct link to the organizations’ web sites. Information regarding the 24-hour national confidential hotline and access to South Carolina gambling help resources is also available on the SCEL Web site.

Since January 2002, the SCEL has transferred more than $201 million to the State Education Lottery Account for distribution according to South Carolina legislation. The SCEL’s net proceeds pay for specific educational programs, including South Carolina’s HOPE, LIFE and Palmetto Fellows scholarships; the National Guard Scholarship Program; Lottery Tuition Assistance for two-year programs within the state’s university system; a wide range of technical upgrades for state colleges and universities; school buses; local libraries and gambling addiction services. For a complete listing of the legislative distribution of lottery dollars, please visit our Web site at www.sceducationlottery.com.

“Have fun. Play Smart. Play Responsibly.”

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