SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- This winter, the Oregon Lottery is rolling out new responsible gaming training to help Video Lottery retailers identify opportunities to provide free resources to people who may be impacted by a gambling issue.
The new training, called “Responsible Gaming & You,” is for the more than 2,100 Video Lottery retailers around the state. The training is designed to educate retailer staff on how to recognize and look for opportunities to direct people to the free resources available to all Oregonians and other helpful tools related to gambling behaviors.
“Connecting people to problem gambling resources and providing responsible gaming information helps players make informed choices when they play lottery games,” said Krystal Smith, Problem and Responsible Gaming Program Manager for the Oregon Lottery.
“The shared commitment we have with our retail partners is an important step in bringing this training to all retail employees and ultimately passed on to our lottery players. It is not only good for a retailer’s business it is an important part of our mission as a lottery.”
Dave Thomason, owner of Southern Oregon Elmer’s, which manages 31 locations offering Oregon Video Lottery games, says he is committed to having 100 percent of his 500-person staff trained through the program.
“I think it’s our responsibility to be a part of this training,” Thomason said. “The vast majority of the players we have are responsible and have limits on themselves. It goes without saying there are folks who have a problem, so I really like the idea of us being aware, to the extent we can, play a part in making sure that problem gamblers know what kinds of help are available to them.”
Jim Fox, owner of Fox Den Eateries, agreed.
“It’s an extremely important program,” Fox said. “We also tie this training together with our alcohol server training. Knowledge is king and having our staff aware of issues and programs that can help our customers if they need it is important to us. We like the training program the Oregon Lottery has put together and will have 100-percent of our staff take the training.”
New this year, retailers who show an outstanding commitment to staff training will be awarded the We Support Responsible Gaming” seal.
One percent of Oregon Lottery proceeds are directed at funding free programs that assist people who have gambling issues. To date, more than $99 million has been directed to these programs. The Oregon lottery is committed to helping retailers provide a fun and entertaining play experience for all lottery players.
“Continuing to regularly provide this effective training to customer service staff demonstrates the commitment of the Lottery to lead the industry as a national example of corporate responsibility to all its customers and retailers,” said Tom Moore, Oregon Council on Problem Gambling Executive Director.
State officials with the Oregon Health Authority also said the program is a good way to help retailers and customers play Oregon Lottery games responsibly.
“At OHA, we know that while lottery games can be fun, they also come with risks for addiction. We appreciate the Oregon State Lottery’s commitment to helping retailers and customers follow responsible gaming practices, make informed decisions, and if needed, connect with free treatment services,” said Greta Coe, Oregon Health Authority Problem Gambling Services Manager.
Smith added, next up is a new training module designed to support the specific needs of retailers who sell other Lottery games like Keno and Scratch-it’s.
Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned more than $12 billion for economic development, public education, state parks, watershed enhancements Veterans services and Outdoor School. For more information on the Oregon Lottery visit www.oregonlottery.org.