While December is typically a festive time of gift giving, purchasing lottery tickets for underage individuals as gifts can actually do more harm than good. Studies have shown that individuals who begin gambling during childhood are more likely to develop a gambling problem later in life. According to the American Psychiatric Association, 10-15% of young people have significant gambling problems.
The Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania (CCGP), with support and cooperation from the Pennsylvania State Lottery and Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, is asking adults to acknowledge the risks associated with underage lottery play and gift responsibly this season. CCGP is participating in the Gift Responsibly Campaign, an initiative launched by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University in Canada.
“This holiday season, and throughout the year, remember that there is an age requirement to participate in Lottery games, and in Pennsylvania, that age is 18. While it may seem harmless, gifting lottery tickets to young people can establish a norm that may lead to other risky behaviors,” said Josh Ercole, CCGP Executive Director.
The Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization affiliated with the National Council on Problem Gambling. Our purpose is to educate and disseminate information on compulsive gambling and to facilitate referrals. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER or visit www.pacouncil.com.