Colorado Lottery Player Health Manager To Stay Ahead Of Problem Gambling

As gambling expands across the United States, including in the lottery industry, some states are putting a higher priority on responsible gaming messaging.

One such state is Colorado, which took a big step on the matter this past January.

The Colorado Lottery hired Amanda Quintana as the department’s new Player Health Manager.

With over a decade of experience in the addictions and community service field, Quintana is now looking to help innovate and supplement the state’s lottery responsible gambling program.

Quintana spoke with PlayiLottery about her new position and the goals she has for leading the player health program in Colorado.

Role and responsibilities for Quintana as Player Health Manager

Quintina has had specific work relating to RG over the last five years. She comes to Colorado after working with the National Council on Problem Gambling.

Amanda Quintana - Colorado Lottery Player Health Manager
Amanda Quintana

Her role will be to promote safe play through the Colorado Lottery and help build on the program’s RG platform.

Quintana also comes into the position looking to help the state in other areas it may be overlooking when it comes to effective RG messaging:

“It’s just about working to continue the work that’s already been done. I think they’ve been working really hard over the past several years to kind of stay in line with best practice. But in that process, I think that they just discovered there were some areas that they wanted to learn more or kind of get some more experience in,” Quintana said. “So, I’m really just here to supplement in the areas that they just need kind of more guidance and support.”

Messaging impact will be a big focus for Quintana. She wants to make sure it’s landing with players and in communities.

She also will be working a lot with the lottery retailers. There, Quintana will help come up with innovative ways to promote RG messaging:

“I think people want to know that, whether it’s lottery or really any product that they are engaging with, I think people feel better knowing that there’s intention behind the work and the production of the product, but also in how its communicated,” Quintana said. “So, I think that’s going to play a really big role in increasing our player base, but also strengthening our relationship with our current players.”

Staying in front of problem gambling in Colorado

Online gambling has definitely seen an increase in the US over recent years. That also includes the lottery, where there are multiple states that have online lotteries.

A total of 13 states, as well as Washington D.C., have legalized online sales through their respective lottery departments.

In Colorado, online lottery is not legal. However, the state has authorized courier services Jackpocket and Lotto.com to operate. Those companies allow customers to purchase retail tickets online through a third-party provider.

With these constant changes to the industry, Quintana believes powerful communication is the best way to still drive home responsible gaming messaging:

“I think the biggest shift that I’ve seen has been just the importance of storytelling and really communicating with your stakeholders. Not just your active player base, but your community, your partners, etc. Really, what’s happening behind the scenes. I think that’s been the biggest change that I’ve seen.”

Messaging can look different through various forms of media. A message through social media channels won’t have the same impact for one generation as a television or radio message will for another.

The multiple media avenues are forcing companies to get more creative and informed with their customer base.

“I think the biggest focus moving forward is just going to be in really educating our players. Like, what does it mean to play the lottery? Where do these proceeds go? How can we play this game in a safe and entertaining way? And also, what are warning signs if things start to feel not as fun? I think that’s going to be the biggest steps moving forward, is just really communicating with our players about our games,” Quintana noted. “Maybe in a different way than we have been before, with the same fun and upbeat approach to the lottery. But, also just adding a few additional protective factors.”

Making responsible gaming a preventive source

One area that Quintana is eager to work on in Colorado is erasing the idea that responsible gaming support is something that has to start after a problem has already been established.

“I would say the concept that I’m most excited to continue to develop is that player health is public health,” Quintana said. “I want to bring that public health perspective. Not just considering what are the symptoms of the problems we may be seeing around gambling, but more so how can we change the environment to create a safer environment for everyone? I think with gambling harm, and gambling addiction, oftentimes we talk about it after someone’s already experiencing harm or after someone’s already active in their addiction. With player health and public health, it is bringing that concept of really talking about how we can create this environment that fosters positive play, that fosters open communication around our gambling habits and in our gambling activities, but also really fosters an environment where we have the support for those who are impacted.”

Quintana is hoping that RG can become just as much about prevention as it is about reaction to a habit.

The more all players are properly informed, the better the chances to see fewer issues with problem gambling. It also will lead to more acceptance and help for those in the community who are battling addiction.

“I think responsible gambling historically has been kind of focused on the percentage of people who experience gambling harm. But, I’m really looking to take a more universal approach and see how can we talk to everyone,” Quintana said. “There’s a lot of research that has to go into it. I think we’re in the beginning stages of that here, but I’m excited to really see how we can change that conversation to be a bit more intentional and universal. Take a true prevention approach to responsible gambling.”

CO Lottery recognized for RG work

The Colorado Lottery has proven to be an industry leader when it comes to responsible gaming.

It has received Level 4 certification from the World Lottery Association for its RG framework. That’s the highest level a state lottery can acquire. Only nine states in the US have earned that honor.

On the Colorado Lottery website, you can find an expansive page dedicated to all the signs of problem gambling and available resources to help.

The addition of Quintana strictly to focus on the risks and harm that gambling can cause is another step Colorado has taken to stand out.

“I thought it was really impressive,” Quintana said of the Colorado Lottery hiring a Player Health Manager. “I think there’s definitely a lot of amazing work that’s happening across, not only the country, but the world around responsible gambling. For the Colorado Lottery to take that step towards having a full-time staff member… I think it was very forward thinking. There’s a saying in the kind of public health field that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of a cure. I think that’s definitely the intention that they were putting forth when creating this position, to really looking to be part of the solution and create the safest and most welcoming environment for its players to work to prevent gambling harm.”

 

Photo by PlayiLottery

About the Author

Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis

Lead Writer
A member of Catena Media since 2020, Drew Ellis is the Lead Writer at PlayiLottery, where he handles coverage of the online and retail lottery industry in the US. He previously spearheaded news content at PlayMichigan, where he covered one of the most prominent online lottery industries in the US — among the many other aspects of Michigan's sprawling iGaming market. You can email him at [email protected].
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