Many people associate the month of March with “March Madness” and guessing winners on basketball tournament brackets (no judgement if you pick based on uniform colors or mascots). It doesn’t get as much attention as basketball, basketball, and more basketball, but March is also Problem Gambling Awareness Month.

The Minnesota Lottery strives to increase awareness about what problem gambling is and how to get help every month, not just in March. We want our players to have fun and that means understanding the odds of our games and playing within their means.

Here are a few tips for safer gambling if you choose to gamble:

  • Set a budget and keep to it. Only play with the cash you can afford to lose.
  • Only gamble money from your discretionary entertainment budget.
  • Gambling results are completely random. There are no patterns that predict when the next win will happen.
  • Understand the odds of winning for each game you play. Minnesota Lottery scratch game and lotto game odds are always available on our website (click learn more on each game).

Resources Available

Minnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling is Minnesota’s advocate and central resource for all Minnesotans seeking information on problem gambling. MNAPG provides information and resources for anyone who is concerned about their gambling or the gambling of someone they care about.

Are you Gambling Responsibly?

Ask yourself these questions, provided by MNAPG:

  • Am I choosing to gamble for fun or am I trying to escape from stressors in my life?
  • Do I understand I’ll probably lose over the course of play and do I accept the loss as part of the play? (Remember, ultimately, the “house” always wins.)
  • Do I know I cannot control chance?
  • Am I borrowing money to gamble?
  • Is gambling my primary source of entertainment?
  • Am I trying to impress others?
  • Am I using alcohol or drugs?
  • Do I know the warning signs of problem gambling?

How Much Money Can I Gamble?

Any money you spend on gambling should be viewed as an entertainment expense and not a means to make money. Before you set out to gamble ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I setting acceptable spending and time limits prior to gambling and sticking to them?
  • Am I gambling money I’ll need for day-to-day expenses?
  • Am I borrowing money to gamble?
  • Am I hiding my losses?
  • When I gamble, am I using credit or debit cards or misusing my checking account?

What’s next?

If you answered yes to any of these questions and you are concerned that you may be at risk for problem gambling, please visit or call 1-800-333-HOPE (4673) to speak to someone confidentially and receive a referral to community resources.