The Iowa Lottery Board voted Tuesday to create a plan that would let people ban themselves from lottery games. Iowa Lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer says it’s one step to help problem gamblers. She says the lottery has not “been a big supplier of problem gambling, just four percent of those who’re admitted to treatment from the state gambling program say that the lottery was their main form of gambling.” Neubauer says even so, they still want to address the issue.
Neubauer says it’s left up to the individual to decide if they have a problem. She says if you’re a problem gambler and don’t want lottery prizes available as an incentive, you sign the contract, have it notarized and send it in to lottery headquarters. The contract bans you from collecting lottery prizes at any of the regional lottery offices around the state.
Neubauer says the ban takes away most of the positive incentive you might have to play the lottery games. Neubauer says lottery prizes of 600-dollars or more must be claimed at a lottery office, so she says they think this will go a long way toward helping people deal with the issues they might be having. She says this is the first step in the process of getting the ban in place.
She says the board needed to make the policy and now lottery officials will develop the actual contract.
Neubauer says it’s probably going to be a few weeks for them to get the actual contract together. State law requires gambling casinos to have a self-ban policy in place, but it does not require the same of the lottery. Iowa Lottery C-E-O Ed Stanek says Iowa is the first state lottery to adopt such a policy.