Just like all the ways we play in Colorado, games of chance are about having fun.
We know any activity we choose to undertake can expose us to a certain amount of risk. So, we learn to set limits, boundaries, and rules for ourselves to make sure we keep it fun. The same goes for playing the Lottery. Use the information here to help you play responsibly.
Know When There’s a Problem
The American Psychiatric Association defines pathological gambling as “an impulse control disorder that is a chronic and progressive mental illness.” The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders offers some clues to help ascertain whether or not a person may have a problem with gambling. If a person has experienced at least five of the following criteria, they should consider seeking professional mental health services.
When a person has consistent or frequent thoughts about the act of gambling.
Similar to drug tolerance, the person requires larger or more frequent wagers to experience a “rush.”
When a person makes attempts to cease or reduce gambling that typically results in restlessness or irritability.
When only gambling improves a person’s mood, and helps him/her escape from their problems.
When a person tries to “chase” winnings in order to pay off gambling losses. Also known as the sunk cost fallacy.
When a person hides the extent of their gambling by lying to family, friends and therapists.
When a person steals in order to feed the gambling addiction.
- Loss of Control:
When a person is unable to control, reduce or stop gambling.
- Illegal Acts:
When a person engages in activities such as theft, embezzlement, fraud, forgery or writing bad checks in order to get gambling money or to recover from gaming losses.
- Risking Relationships:
When a person disregards relationships with significant others, employment, and other associations in favor of gambling.
When a person looks to others for financial assistance to bail them out of their gaming losses.
Lottery Games Aren't Child's Play
Lottery games aren't child's play. Studies have shown that exposure to gambling at a young age leads to higher rates of problem gambling later in life. Though Lottery tickets make great presents, they should never be gifted to anyone under 18.
Know How to Play Smart
As Coloradans we love to play, but it’s important to know when it is time to stop. In order to keep our favorite games fun, we learn to set limits.
- Never chase your losses.
- Set a dollar limit & stick to it.
- Balance gambling with other fun activities.
- Don’t play when you are upset or depressed.
- Never gamble with money needed for expenses.
- Play for fun and entertainment, not for money.
- Take a break from playing every now and again.
- Treat winning as a bonus.
- Don't gamble on credit, borrow to play, or gamble illegally.
- Know how the games work and your odds of winning.
- If you’re unsure whether you’re overstepping your limits, ask for help.
- To learn more about how lottery games work, different gambling myths, and tips on how to keep the game fun, visit:
You can find information on how the games work, learn about different gambling myths, explore tips on how to keep the game fun, and much more, at:
Help is Available.
If you or a loved one are struggling with a gambling problem, we encourage you to seek help by contacting one of the organizations below.
- Problem Gambling Coalition of Colorado
24/7 confidential Problem Gambling Helpline: 1-800-522-4700 (call or text) (English and Spanish)
PGCC’s mission is to increase awareness, advocate treatment and promote research and education on problem gambling in Colorado.CALL NOWVISIT WEBSITE
- Colorado Gamblers Anonymous
GA Hotline: 1-855-2-CALLGA (1-855-222-5542)
Gamblers Anonymous is a support group for those struggling with a gambling problem and a desire to stop, with the help of their 12-Step Program. Find local in-person or online meetings across Colorado:CALL NOWVISIT WEBSITE
- Debtors Anonymous
DA offers hope for people whose use of unsecured debt causes problems and suffering in their lives and the lives of others.VISIT WEBSITE
Gam-Anon is a support group for friends and family members impacted by compulsive gamblers.VISIT WEBSITE
- National Council on Problem Gambling
NCPG is the national advocate for programs and services to assist people, families and communities affected by problem gambling.VISIT WEBSITE
A supportive online community helping people with gambling issues share their experiences and ideas. Joining is free and completely anonymous. Read inspirational stories about recovery and chat live with others at:VISIT WEBSITE
Test your knowledge on some common misconceptions about gambling.
Follow the "Know Your Limits" decision tree to find out if you should play the Lottery today.
The Colorado Lottery’s Commitment to Players
The Colorado Lottery and its employees have pledged to make responsible gaming an integral part of how we conduct our business. As part of this commitment, in 2018 we joined the World Lottery Association (WLA) and adopted their Responsible Gaming Framework -- an internationally recognized set of industry best practices for responsible gaming. We are proud to be one of just a handful of U.S. lotteries awarded Level 3 Responsible Gaming Certification by the WLA, the organization's second highest level of accreditation.
- Working with Stakeholders: The Problem Gambling Coalition of Colorado (PGCC) brings together a diverse group of stakeholders with the common mission to increase awareness, advocate treatment, and promote research and education on problem gambling in Colorado. The Lottery played an instrumental role in forming this coalition in 2002, and has remained a key partner ever since. Not only is the Lottery one of the group’s largest financial supporters, we also maintain a seat on the PGCC Board, which meets monthly to discuss current issues around problem gambling and new ways to further the Coalition’s mission. One of PGCC’s most critical functions is funding Colorado’s 24-hour problem gambling helpline. Callers can speak toll-free to live, trained counselors, who are able to help those struggling with gambling addiction get connected to the treatment they need.
- Lottery Advertising and Marketing: The Lottery takes particular care to ensure the messaging in our marketing and advertising promotes responsible play. To uphold this commitment, we created the Marketing Code of Conduct that all relevant Lottery employees and vendors must follow. The Code of Conduct highlights five ethical values that need to taken into consideration for all Lottery advertising: honesty, responsibility, fairness, respect, and transparency. Each new advertising campaign must complete a compliance checklist that confirms these principles are being adhered to. Our advertising is never placed in media outlets that are specifically oriented towards minors and we never feature anyone who is or appears to be below the legal age to participate in Lottery games. Specific “Play Responsibly” campaigns are run throughout the year to encourage consumers to learn more about responsible play and available resources. All Lottery products also include a “Play Responsibly” message, along with the 24-hour problem gambling helpline number.
- Supporting Lottery Retailers: Lottery retailers have the most direct contact with our players and play a crucial role in helping us achieve our responsible gaming goals. Every retail location has our “Play Smart” brochure available with responsible gaming tips and treatment resources. All new Lottery retailers receive mandatory training on recognizing the signs of problem gambling, and tactics on how to address the issue. Our sales representatives also conduct annual refresher trainings throughout the year to keep retailers current with the latest techniques. We provide our retail distribution network with the educational tools and resources that help them protect their customers.