For most people, playing lottery games is fun and entertaining, however for a small percentage of people playing can become a problem. Responsible Play is all about being informed, having fun and knowing your limits and resellers play a vital part in ensuring the safety of our players.
If playing lottery games is no longer fun for you or you are concerned about someone close to you, help is always at hand.
Our first line of defence against problem play is how the game maker, Scientific Games International (“SGI”), build responsible play into the scratch card games as they are being developed.
SGI use tools and processes to ensure games are designed to be low-risk and closely monitor games as they are being developed and launched.
The States of Guernsey and States of Jersey work closely with external health and addiction support service providers.
As a responsible operators of the Channel Islands Lottery instant games and Christmas draw, the States of Guernsey and States of Jersey work closely with the game maker and relevant health authorities to formulate a responsible gambling strategy. Together we aim to ensure participants are safe guarded through the prevention of excessive and underage play and the promotion of safe play.
We are committed to maximising returns to local good causes in a responsible way. Key responsibilities are the prevention of underage play, prevention of excessive play and safety for all our participants and those considering participation. Our mission as a responsible game operator is to ensure that we have lots of people playing a little, rather than a few people playing a lot.
This mission is aligned with the European Lotteries Association (EL) Responsible Gaming Standard and the World Lottery Association (WLA) best practice guidelines and certifications. Our game maker Scientific Games International has been awarded the highest level of accreditation by the WLA Responsible Gaming Framework (Level 4) which recognises SGI’s commitment to continuous improvement in Consumer Protection. All their responsible play initiatives have been rigorously audited in line with the EL Responsible Gaming standard.
We continue to strive to ensure that all participants requiring treatment are aware of the options available to them by raising awareness through our communications channels, addiction support colleagues and on our games. We engage with organisations addressing problem gambling in the UK through GamCare and GambleAware.
We also fund extensive research into the broader issues relating to gambling, including online betting. The most recent project the CI Lottery supported was the 2020 Gambling Health Impact Assessment carried out in Guernsey by Liverpool John Moores University. This research project studies the impact of gambling on the local household.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if your gambling is harmful and if you want to do anything about it. Problem gambling looks different to each individual. The following signs are some of the common things that have been linked to problem gambling. You may not relate to all of the points but recognising yourself from even one or two points may be a sign of a gambling problem.
This is rather obvious: any gambling comes with the risk of losing – we all know that. But it’s the chances of winning that keep us in the game, sometimes even when we know we have already lost a lot of money and shouldn’t keep spending more. Taking loans, using credit cards or selling your belongings to fund your gambling is a sign of starting to lose control of your finances.
In short – you need to place a higher stake and gamble for a longer period of time to get the same buzz compared to before. Being preoccupied with gambling most of the time with increased expenditure is a sign that you are developing psychological tolerance to gambling.
Do you get anxious if you can’t check the results of your bet or if you can’t play another game when you’d like? Do you find yourself becoming fidgety or irritable if you can’t gamble? Are you stressing about the money you just lost or worrying about a loan you need to be able to soon pay back? Problem gambling almost always significantly increases your stress levels and leads to a cycle where you feel like you need to gamble to get temporary stress relief.
When gambling starts to get out of control it may lead to adverse consequences – things that you didn’t initially sign up for; things that you probably would rather not think about. You may keep gambling in order to keep these feelings at bay.
When you start to prioritise gambling over other important things, such as relationships with your friends and family, work, your finances, your house, your health, your future plans … this is when problems start to emerge. The urge to gamble may be so strong that it takes over even when you know you’re not doing what’s best for you and the people around you.
If you are concerned about gambling use you can use Independence’s self-screening tool, shown below.