A new ad from the state lottery urges problem gamblers to get help.
The spot features animations depicting lottery, card and slot games. Lottery Executive Director Tom Shaheen provides the voice over.
"It can be a lot of fun, but when you play too often the fun can quickly fade," Shaheen says. The ad concludes by encouraging anyone who is playing too much to call the problem gambling help line at 877-718-5543.
The ad is the only one the lottery is running this week, which is National Problem Gambling Awareness Week, said Pam Walker, a spokeswoman for the lottery. The spot costs $21,465 to produce. It replaces last year's spot in which Shaheen used hot sauce as a metaphor for problem gambling.
In 2009, the help line received more than 7,132 calls in 2009, according to a report released to Dome by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. Of those, 576 were reporting problem gambling.
Of those, 45 percent (260) called after seeing the number on the back of a lottery ticket and 186 or 43 percent said their primary problem activity was the lottery. Video poker and slot machines were the second and third, respectively, most cited problem activities.
2009 North Carolina Report.pdf