Oregon Lottery stops promoting how gambling addicts can get help

Oregon Lottery stops promoting how gambling addicts can get help

EUGENE, Ore. - Ronda Hatefi's brother had a problem.

"My brother had a gambling addiction, which we didn't recognize as an addiction at the time," she said.

"He took his life," Hatefit added. "My mom actually wrote on his death certificate, 'Thanks to the Oregon state lottery.' "

Now Hatefi works to educate people about the issue of gambling addiction - work that is about to get more difficult.

The state Justice Department recently decided reaching out to those needing assistance is not the state lottery's responsibilty - even though the help for problem gambling is free.

"People that want to get help often don't know there's help available," said Julie Hynes with Lane County Public Health, "and it's free and confidential. So what this really means is that a lot of folks wont even know that there is help out there in the community."

Instead of helping those suffering from addiction, the Oregon Lottery will now advocate for moderation.