According to the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), research shows that the majority of adolescents gamble at least occasionally, and lottery products may be a gateway to problem gambling.
Lottery tickets are fun-filled and exciting presents, but they are not suitable gifts for minors. Studies suggest that gambling is a popular yet risky activity among youth. Additionally, researchers have reported a correlation between age of gambling onset and problem gambling later in life. Lottery play is sometimes an initial introduction to gambling activities for minors.
“Playing the lottery at a young age can increase the potential for problem gambling later in life,” said Jeffrey Derevensky, Director of McGill University’s Youth Gambling Centre.
According to NCPG’s Lottery Holiday Campaign, “Youth gambling has been shown to be linked to other risk-taking and addictive behaviors such as smoking, drinking and drug use.”
NCPG Executive Director Keith Whyte explained that it’s vital to raise awareness because research shows that some problem gamblers report beginning gambling during childhood — as early as 9-10 years of age. “The Holiday Campaign is a great way to encourage responsible gambling and help keep the fun in the holidays by gifting lottery tickets responsibly to adults.”
Remember: When giving a lottery product as a gift, please make sure you keep the person’s age in mind.