PlaySmart Backgrounder: Player Categories

PlaySmart’s goal is to help OLG’s players, new and seasoned, better understand key gambling concepts, how the games work, base their play budgets on informed choices and how to enjoy the experience responsibly.

PlaySmart has developed the following categories to help players assess what type of player they are.

Player Categories

1. New Players – “I’m just looking for a new experience”

Those who’ve recently had their first experience with gambling or playing the Lottery. They may not consider Lottery a form of gambling.

  • Exploring a new form of entertainment
  • Driven by a desire to join in on the fun and dream big
  • Forming ideas about what gambling is
  • May have been exposed to online gambling sites
  • May not understand or may have preconceived notions of how Lottery or gambling odds work

2. Casual Players – “Let’s have some fun, but I’m still learning”

Infrequent gamblers or Lottery players with minimal experience or knowledge. They may not consider Lottery a form of gambling.

  • Occasionally buy a raffle or Lottery ticket
  • Make planned visits to slots and/or casinos with friends or if there’s a special occasion
  • May be playing Lottery looking for a brief escape (Instants), have practical dreams (playing Ontario-only Lotteries), have big aspiration dreams (playing National Lotteries) or a desire to apply their sports knowledge and strategy in a fun way
  • Gambling or playing Lottery is a novelty

3. Serious Social Players – “I know how to play and am in control”

Casual gamblers and Lottery players with moderate play and knowledge of gambling. They may not consider Lottery a form of gambling.

  • Started playing when they were younger
  • Gambling at slots and/or casinos is a main form of entertainment
  • It has become a part of their daily routine
  • Don’t always plan visits to slots and/or casinos and impromptu visits may be driven by “feeling lucky”
  • Gambling does not come before work or family, but is an important part of their lives
  • They likely have control over their gambling and Lottery activities

4. Possible Harm – “This used to be more fun, but if I stop I’ll never win”

Frequent and intense gamblers and Lottery players.

  • Started playing when they were younger
  • It’s likely gone beyond entertainment
  • They may be unaware they are starting to lose control
  • Their gambling and Lottery play may now be causing problems at work, home and/or with relationships
  • They may be feeling regretful about the money and time they are spending

5. Possible Uncontrolled - “I need to play!”

High-risk, problem gamblers who make frequent visits to Slots and/or Casinos or Lottery retailers.

  • Gambling and Lottery play may have taken over their lives
  • May be unable to control the urge to gamble or play Lottery, despite the harm
  • May use gambling and Lottery play to escape problems and relieve anxiety

More information is available at

For more information contact:
OLG Media Relations


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February 8, 2016

PlaySmart Backgrounder: Gambling/Lottery Myths and Truths

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