Oregon Lottery drops effort to help problem gamblers

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) The Oregon Lottery is no longer paying for ads to reach out to addicted gamblers.

The decision, first reported by The Oregonian newspaper, follows a state Justice Department opinion that says the job of lottery officials is to run a lottery, with the proceeds going toward economic development, public education and protecting the environment.

Using money to help problem gamblers is not part of that mission

The lottery can still run ads that promote responsible gambling, and 1 percent of lottery profits will still be given to the Oregon Health Authority.

The health agency received about $10 million for the two-year budget cycle, with the money going toward treatment for gambling addiction.

State money helped treat about 1,500 people in the fiscal year that ended in 2012.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press