National Council on Problem Gambling Offers Last-Minute Holiday Gifts Ideas for Children

Lottery Tickets Aren’t Child’s Play


Washington, DC – As part of its international Gift Responsibly Campaign, the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) reminds last-minute holiday shoppers that lottery tickets are not appropriate gifts for children. Research indicates that early exposure to gambling activities like lottery play increases the risk of gambling addiction later in life.

NCPG has released a list of alternative ideas for last-minute gifts for children. The goal is to help adults remember the wide array of possible gifts by providing some specific options, which could spark other ideas as well. The following gift suggestions are designed to encourage enriching experiences and foster communication:


  • Board Games and Puzzles
  • Gift Certificates
  • Yard Games / Sports Equipment
  • Books
  • Art Supplies
  • Tickets to Child-Friendly Shows, Events or Cultural Institutions


“The Gift Responsibly Campaign encourages adults to avoid giving lottery tickets to children during the holidays, because underage lottery play makes them more susceptible to problem gambling as they grow older,” said Keith Whyte, NCPG Executive Director. “This list of gift ideas helps adults avoid contributing to that outcome, because as the campaign motto says – lottery tickets aren’t child’s play.”

The annual Gift Responsibly Campaign (formerly the Holiday Lottery Campaign) is organized by NCPG and the International Center for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University. Each year, starting in December, lotteries and non-lottery organizations from around the world raise awareness about the risks associated with adults giving lottery tickets to children as gifts during the holidays.

This year the Campaign has a record-setting number of participants, including all eligible lotteries in the United States and Canada as well as over 60 non-lottery organizations. For a list of participants and access to the free toolkit of materials and resources, visit – the program continues for gift-giving occasions all year long.

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 20, 2021

John Norton

For questions contact

Cait Huble