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Responsible Gambling

Guidelines for responsible gambling

Setting Limits

The Lottery encourages Oregonians to play their dollars with sense and offers the following guidelines for responsible gambling.

  • Gamble only for fun
  • Think of the money you lose as the cost of your entertainment
  • Set a dollar limit and stick to it
  • Set a time limit and stick to it
  • Accept losing as part of the game
  • Don't borrow money to gamble
  • Don't let gambling interfere with family, friends or work
  • Don't gamble to win back losses
  • Don't use gambling as a way to cope with emotional or physical pain
  • Know the warning signs of problem gambling

Myth Busters

There are many myths and misconceptions about the play of Video LotterySM games.

Myth: There are Video Lottery terminals (VLTs) that are “hot.”

Fact: When you play a VLT, each play result is drawn from all possible combinations and the chances of winning are always the same. The number of past wins or losses has nothing to do with when the next payout will come. This means there is no such thing as a “hot” machine.

Myth: Some VLTs are “due” to pay.

Fact: All outcomes – wins and losses – are entirely random. There is no set pattern and no way to predict the outcome of a game.

Myth: Players can control the outcome of a game.

Fact: It is impossible for a player to control the outcome of a game. There is nothing that you can do while playing that can improve your chances of winning. Hitting the stop button will not impact the outcome of play in any way. In fact, the outcome of each game is determined as soon as you hit the play button.

Myth: VLT payouts are adjusted by the Oregon Lottery®.

Fact: While VLTs and the Lottery's central computer system are constantly communicating, the Lottery's central computer can’t make changes to the way specific VLT games play, nor can it make any changes to payout rates. Software located within each VLT controls all information specific to the games, including their payout rates and their randomness. The software runs independently from the central computer system.

Myth: It is possible to “chase” and recoup losses.

Fact: VLTs are programmed to pay out less than they take in over time. Playing any type of Oregon Lottery® game should be considered a form of entertainment and should not be played for investment purposes.

Special thanks to the Atlantic Lottery Corp. for a portion of this information.

Learn to Manage your Gambling

The Gambling Evaluation and Reduction Program (GEAR) is a confidential, educational, phone-based program. GEAR is designed to help gamblers steer away from potentially harmful gambling patterns without going to a treatment center.

If gambling has stopped being fun and is starting to cause personal or financial problems, it’s time to reconsider how you play.

There are a variety of reasons why, for some people, gambling becomes more than just a game. Fortunately, under the right conditions, with the right guidance, many people can change their gambling habits.

Oregon’s GEAR program is designed for gamblers seeking change. It offers the tools and support to modify unwanted gambling patterns – without traveling to a counselor’s office.

GEAR is the first home-based counseling program in the United States. It combines phone consultation with certified counselors, workbook exercises, and referral resources to give participants the tools and motivation to make good choices about if and how much to gamble.

Who should consider GEAR?

  • Anyone who thinks their gambling is getting out of hand.
  • Anyone who is looking for proven ways to change a potentially destructive pattern of gambling.
  • Anyone who isn’t getting help for a gambling problem because there isn’t a treatment center nearby, or because other circumstances are getting in the way of going to a local treatment center.

How to Sign up for GEAR.

There is no charge for GEAR and it is easy to enroll. Simply call this toll-free number: 877-278-6766 (24-hour help line). A qualified advisor will talk to you about your gambling to determine if GEAR is right for you.

Contact the Oregon Problem Gambling Helpline

You can contact the Oregon Problem Gambling Helpline in the following ways:

  • Phone: 1-877-695-4648 (MY-LIMIT)
  • Web:

Oregon Lottery • 500 Airport Road SE, Salem, OR, 97301 • PO Box 12649 Salem, OR, 97309-0649 •
Phone: 503-540-1000 • Fax: 503-540-1001 • Email: