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Scratch that gift idea, instant lottery tickets only good for adults

Gifts under the tree for the kids? Leave out the lottery tickets this year.
Gifts under the tree for the kids? Leave out the lottery tickets this year.
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 2:46 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WIFR) - Holidays bring many gift ideas to mind, and for stocking stuffers, lottery is an Illinois favorite. When it comes to the kids, we’re thinking “One little scratch off ticket won’t hurt, right?”

Focus youth gambling prevention an Illinois Association for Behavioral Health program is raising awareness about the risks of gifting lottery products to minors. This will include providing information on the gift responsibly campaign, discouraging adults from gifting lottery tickets to kids, and offering suggestions for other gifts.

“Our message is a simple one: lottery tickets are appropriate gifts only for adults,” Sarah Martin, Focus Youth Gambling’s Prevention Program Coordinator. “Research linking early exposure to gambling to future problem gambling and other risky behaviors is why ‘Focus’ is involved in the campaign.”

The Illinois group’s initiative, organized by the National Council on Problem Gambling, the International Center for Youth Gambling Problems, and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University under the “Gift Responsibly Campaign” banner, is being funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services.

National Council on Problem Gambling Executive Director Keith Whyte says the proof is in the data. “The evidence clearly shows that exposure to gambling as a youth increases the probability of gambling problems later in life. Regardless of what time of year it is, adults should find gift options for children other than lottery tickets.”

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