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Rhode Island Lottery News > In The News > All News >

Lottery Tickets Are Not Appropriate Gifts for Minors

December 22, 2010

Lottery Tickets Are Not Appropriate Gifts for Minors

The holiday season is on the minds of many as it quickly approaches, with the hustle and bustle in stores and shopping centers quickly mounting. Increasingly popular gifts and stocking stuffers include lottery tickets and scratch cards. As an affordable, colorful, and potentially promising gift, they often find their way into the hands of underage youth. The Rhode Island Lottery, the National Council on Problem Gambling, and McGill University are combining their efforts to promote a responsible gambling message this holiday season by urging parents and all adults not to purchase lottery products for underage minors.

Results from a recent study showed that 19% of high school students reportedly received one or more lottery tickets or scratch cards as gifts, of which 86% came from a family member. This, coupled with the growing concern about adolescent problem gambling, prompted the National Council on Problem Gambling, the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University, and the Rhode Island Lottery to collaborate 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 report having 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.

This year, send children a responsible message. The sale of lottery products is reserved to those 18 years of age and older, similar to age restrictions placed on the sale of alcohol and tobacco.

This holiday season, if you choose to offer a lottery product as a present, please make sure you keep the person’s age in mind.         

For more information contact:

  1. Megan Larsen, Program Manager, National Council on Problem Gambling.  (202.547.9204),

  2. Lynette Gilbeau, Research Coordinator, International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors, McGill University, (514) 398-4438,

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