The New Jersey Lottery is partnering this month with The Council on Compulsive Gambling to raise awareness about problem gambling.

Acting Lottery Director John White says the campaign focuses on the importance of "playing the lottery and other types of gaming responsibility."

As with other forms of gambling, White says the vast majority of lottery players bet responsibly and not over their heads. But one aim of the campaign is to get those who know a problem gambler to help them — "Have the Conversation," as the campaign is called, with the person and "not behave in a manner that would make you an enabler to that individual."

"It provides an opportunity to talk about signs to recognize, that might indicate gambling is becoming a problem with an individual," he said.

The council operates a 24-hour confidential helpline at 1-800-GAMBLER. Every year, the line answers 15,000 calls.

There's also information at www.800gambler.org, including a 20-question survey that helps you determine whether you have a problem. If you answer "yes" to at least seven questions — including "Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?" "Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?" and "Did gambling cause difficulty in sleeping?" — you should consider seeking help.

"We want to bring awareness to the many services that are available from the Council, such as school education programs, referral and treatment programs. It is a great resource for education and about gambling and playing responsibly," he said.

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