Lottery Tickets Aren’t Child’s Play

Washington, DC ­– According to research, early childhood gambling experiences, including those with lottery products, increase the risk for developing gambling problems later in life.

In response, the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University in Canada joined forces to launch the Gift Responsibly Campaign, which was called the Responsible Gambling Holiday Lottery Campaign until this year. Since 2003, a growing number of lotteries and organizations concerned with problem gambling have joined the Campaign’s effort to raise awareness about the risk of underage lottery play during the December holiday season. Instead of giving lottery tickets as gifts to children, adults are encouraged to find other options.

The Campaign’s rebranding makes it easier for participating lotteries and organizations from around the world to extend the responsible gambling message to other occasions where children receive gifts like birthdays and graduations. To learn more about the campaign, how it has changed, what the various participation levels consist of, and to view the downloadable tool kit go here.

NCPG Executive Director Keith Whyte said, “The Gift Responsibly Campaign educates communities about lottery tickets, which are the form of gambling with the broadest participation level. It explains why lottery tickets are not appropriate as gifts for children. The retailers who sell lottery products and the adults who buy them learn that early exposure to gambling activities through lottery gifts, such as scratch-off tickets, increases the possibility that children will develop a gambling addiction as they grow older.”

This year, for the fourth year in a row, 100% of eligible Canadian and U.S. lotteries, along with numerous international lotteries and non-lottery organizations and many NCPG members, have joined the Campaign to promote responsible gambling. The Campaign is also endorsed by the European Lotteries (EL), North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL) and the World Lottery Association (WLA).

Jeffrey Derevensky, Director of the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors, said, “The Gift Responsibly Campaign is a great way to encourage responsible gambling by gifting lottery tickets only to adults. While December is still the Campaign’s focus, we believe the rebranding enables its message to resonate throughout the year, a valuable opportunity that lotteries and other organizations may use.”

The 2021 Gift Responsibly Campaign participants sign up for the free campaign and make a commitment to the number of promotional activities they will undertake. They include:

Lottery Level 3: Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, Colorado Lottery, Connecticut Lottery, Hoosier Lottery, Illinois Lottery, Maine State Lottery, Michigan Lottery, Mississippi Lottery, New Jersey Lottery, New York Lottery, Oregon Lottery, Rhode Island Lottery, Virginia Lottery

Lottery Level 2: Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis, Atlantic Lottery, BCLC, California State Lottery, Delaware Lottery, Hrvatska Lutriija d.o.o., Iowa Lottery, Kansas Lottery, Kentucky Lottery, Lotto New Zealand, Massachusetts State Lottery, Minnesota Lottery, Missouri Lottery, Österreichische Lotterien GmbH, Pennsylvania Lottery, Premier Lotteries Ireland Operator of Ireland’s National Lottery, North Carolina Education Lottery, South Carolina Education Lottery, South Dakota Lottery, Texas Lottery

Lottery Level 1: Arizona Lottery, D.C. Lottery, Florida Lottery, Georgia Lottery, Idaho Lottery, Loto-Québec, Lottotech Ltd., Louisiana Lottery, Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries, Maryland Lottery, Montana Lottery, Nebraska Lottery, New Hampshire Lottery, New Mexico Lottery, Nova Scotia Gaming, Ohio Lottery, Oklahoma Lottery, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, Sask Lotteries, SAZKA a.s., Tennessee Lottery, The U.K. National Lottery (operated by Camelot U.K. Lotteries), Ukrainian National Lottery, Vermont Lottery, Washington’s Lottery, Western Canada Lottery Corporation, West Virginia Lottery, Wisconsin Lottery, Wyoming Lottery

Non-Lottery Participants: Adcare Educational Institute of Maine, Inc., Area Substance Abuse Council, Arizona Department of Gaming – Division of Problem Gambling, ARPG Council, Bet Free Recovery Now, Bettor Choice Program at UCFS Healthcare, Catholic Charities Steuben / Livingston Prevention Services, Community Action of Southeast Iowa, Compass Mark, Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling, Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania, DCCCA, Employee & Family Resources, EPIC Risk Management, Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling, Family Youth Gambling Prevention, Field of Hope Community Campus, First Choice Services, Inc. / The Problem Gambling Help Network of WV, Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Focus Youth Gambling Prevention, Genesee County Public Health, Helping Services for Youth & Families, Illinois Association for Behavioral Health, Illinois Council on Problem Gambling, Indiana Council on Problem Gambling, International Game Technology, Jackpocket, Jewish Family & Treatment Services, Kansas Coalition on Problem Gambling, Kelly Teagel, Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers, Linn County Health Services – Problem Gambling Prevention, Louisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling, Maine Council on Problem Gambling, Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling, Massachusetts Office of Problem Gambling Services, Melissa Caretaking & Writing Arts, Mental Health Services for Clark & Madison County Inc., Minnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling, New England Prevention Technology Transfer Center, Nicasa Behavioral Health Services, Ohio Casino Control Commission, Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services, Oklahoma Association on Problem Gambling and Gaming, Oregon Council on Problem Gambling, Pathways of Central Ohio, Pennsylvania Department of Drugs & Alcohol Programs, Problem Gambling Network of Ohio, Prevention Action Alliance, Prevention at Lawrence Country Drug and Alchohol, Public Health Muskegon County, Recovery Resources, Scientific Games, Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery, South Central Kansas Problem Gambling Task Force, Southwest Kansas Problem Gambling Task Force, The Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health, Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities, United Way of Seneca County, Way Back Inn, Western CT Coalition, Wichita State University Community Engagement Institute, Zepf Center

About the National Council on Problem Gambling

Based in Washington DC, the National Council on Problem Gambling is the only national nonprofit organization that seeks to minimize the economic and social costs associated with gambling addiction by working with stakeholders in all facets of gambling. NCPG is neutral on legalized gambling. If gambling becomes a problem, NCPG urges people who gamble, as well as their loved ones, to contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline, which offers hope and help without judgment or shame. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call or text 1-800-522-4700 or visit Help is available 24/7 – it is free and confidential.



December 1, 2021


For questions contact

Cait Huble