FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 5, 2017
Lottery tickets may be fun-filled and exciting presents, but they are not suitable gifts for minors.
For the past ten years, the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University and the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) in Washington, D.C. have come together for the annual Holiday Lottery Campaign, a corporate social responsibility program designed to help lotteries make adults aware of the risks of giving lottery products as holiday gifts to minors.
Abundant research shows that many adolescents gamble at least occasionally and that lottery products, especially scratch tickets, have been shown sometimes to be an initial introduction to gambling activities for youth. For some youth, lottery products may be a gateway to excessive or problem gambling. Youth gambling has been linked to other risky behaviors including smoking, drinking and drug use. Additionally, researchers have reported a link between the age at which a person first gambles and excessive or problem gambling later in life.
NCPG Executive Director Keith Whyte explained that it is vital to raise awareness because international research shows that some people with a gambling disorder report beginning gambling during childhood – as early as 9-10 years of age. “The Holiday Lottery Campaign is a great way to encourage responsible gambling and help keep the fun in the holidays by gifting lottery tickets responsibly to adults,” said Whyte.
The campaign is endorsed by the World Lottery Association and the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL), highlighting the global reach of the campaign. Jeffrey Derevensky, Director of the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors views this campaign as an “innovative approach to help educate adults and prevent underage gambling problems.”
Keith Whyte said, “We believe responsible gambling is a positive approach to minimizing gambling-related harm and therefore maximizing public benefit. We are proud to continue our work with the WLA and NASPL and the participating lotteries across the United States, Canada and around the world.”
Participating lotteries this year include:
Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, Atlantic Lottery, British Columbia Lottery Corporation, Loto-Québec, Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries, Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Corporation, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, Saskatchewan Lotteries.
Arkansas Lottery, California Lottery, Colorado Lottery, Connecticut Lottery Corporation, DC Lottery and Charitable Games, Delaware Lottery, Florida Lottery Corporation, Georgia Lottery Corporation, Hoosier Lottery (Indiana), Idaho Lottery, Illinois Lottery, Iowa Lottery, Kansas Lottery, Kentucky Lottery, Maine State Lottery, Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, Massachusetts State Lottery Commission, Michigan Lottery, Minnesota Lottery, Missouri Lottery, Montana Lottery, Nebraska Lottery, New Hampshire Lottery Commission, New Jersey Lottery, New Mexico Lottery, New York Lottery, North Carolina Education Lottery, North Dakota Lottery, Ohio Lottery, Oklahoma Lottery Commission, Oregon Lottery, Pennsylvania Lottery, Rhode Island Lottery, South Dakota Lottery, Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation, Texas Lottery, Vermont Lottery, Virginia Lottery, Washington’s Lottery, West Virginia Lottery, Wyoming Lottery.
AB Svenska Spel (Sweden), Austrian Lotteries, Hrvatska Lutrija d.o.o. (Croatia), Lotto New Zealand, Lottotech Limited (Mauritius), Nederlandse Loterij.
About the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors
For 25 years, the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University has been at the forefront of leading-edge research aimed at identifying and understanding the critical factors related to youth gambling issues. The Centre has developed numerous award-winning prevention programs and provides consultations to government agencies around the world to develop responsible gambling initiatives.
About the National Council on Problem Gambling
NCPG is the national advocate for problem gamblers and their families. NCPG is neutral on legalized gambling and works with all stakeholders to promote responsible gaming.
Dr. Jeffrey Derevensky
Director, International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors, McGill University
Communications Manager, National Council on Problem Gambling