December 9, 2013
Rhode Island Lottery Reminds Adults to "Give Responsibly"
Holiday fun is for Children - Lottery Tickets are not!
The Rhode Island Lottery has once again joined with the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and McGill University to remind adults during this holiday season that lottery tickets are not appropriate gifts for underage children.
Recent studies show an increasing number of high school students reportedly receive one or more lottery tickets as gifts, adding to the concern about adolescent problem gambling. The Rhode Island Lottery, the NCPG, the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University and dozens of lotteries around the globe are again collaborating this holiday season to increase public awareness about the impact of giving lottery products as gifts to minors.
There is strong evidence suggesting that 70-80% of adolescents have gambled for money in the past year, approximately 30% report gambling on a weekly basis, and current problem gamblers report beginning gambling during childhood, ages 9-10.
Keith Whyte, Executive Director of the NCPG noted: "There is recent research indicating that youth who received instant lottery tickets as a gift tend to begin gambling earlier in life – a possible risk factor for more severe gambling disorders later. The researchers also reported a stronger association between age of gambling onset and problem gambling severity among those who received lottery tickets."
"We know that playing the lottery at a young age is inappropriate and can increase the potential for problem gambling later in life," said Dr. Jeffrey Derevensky, Co-Director of the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University (Canada). "We welcome the collaborative efforts of the Rhode Island Lottery to help make everyone aware of this issue, as together we can make a difference in preventing underage gambling and gambling problems."
Rhode Island Lottery Director, Gerald S. Aubin, echoed the sentiments of both Mr. Whyte and Dr. Derevensky, saying "We like to remind people that although some may think an instant ticket in a child's Christmas stocking represents innocent fun, there is a danger in exposing minors to activities meant for adults. Just as you wouldn't think of giving alcohol or tobacco to a minor, the same mindset should be used with lottery products." Our campaign this year at the Rhode Island Lottery is a reminder to "Give responsibly - Holiday fun is for children, lottery tickets are not!"