Imagine opening your eyes on Christmas morning. You peer out the window, a blanket of snow covering the New York ground.
You rush to your stocking and see $1,000,000 Golden Fortune and Big Bucks scratch-off lottery tickets peeking out. Anything can happen, you think. Indeed, a Christmas miracle could occur, earning you a life-changing grand prize.
While it is an idyllic outlook for many, it is one that the New York Lottery is urging from creating for children. This holiday season, as it does every year, the NY Lottery is asking adults not to gift lottery tickets to the youth.
NY Lottery advises against gifting lottery tickets to children
The message from state officials comes as part of the national Gift Responsibly campaign, one created by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and the International Center for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University.
The goal: Raise public awareness about the risks associated with youth gambling.
“Many times, a child’s first exposure to gambling comes in the form of a gifted lottery ticket from a well-meaning adult who may be unaware of the associated risks,” Brian O’Dwyer, chair of the New York State Gaming Commission, said in a statement.
“We encourage age-appropriate gifts this holiday season and throughout the year and thank our partners across the country in helping to spread the message.”
Youth problem gambling a growing concern
The NCPG emphasizes that youth problem gambling remains a growing concern nationwide.
According to the council, many individuals indicate that their first gambling experience occurred when they were between 9 and 11 years old.
In addition, the NCPG estimates that around 60% of high-school-aged individuals said they gambled for money within the past year. What’s more, 10% to 14% of adolescents are at-risk for developing a gambling problem. In fact, 4% to 6% of adolescents currently have a serious problem with gambling.
In New York, lottery players must be at least 18 years old to purchase tickets.
As a way to help prevent underage gambling and bring awareness to responsible gambling in New York and problem gaming as a whole, the NYSGC will participate in the Gift Responsibly campaign with radio spots, TV ads and social media posts. The commission will also stage displays at high-traffic locations throughout the state as well as post signage at NY Lottery, video lottery and commercial casinos.
For more information, you can visit www.PlayResponsiblyNY.com, which also provides resources for problem gambling, a gambling self-assessment and more.