Youth Gambling Risks In Focus For Lotteries During Holiday Season

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on December 4, 2023
Family With Children Open Christmas Gifts

As announced on Nov. 30, two reputable entities from the US and Canada joined forces to present the 2023 Gift Responsibly Campaign:

  • The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), based in Washington DC
  • The International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviours at McGill University, in Montreal, Canada

Numerous community organizations worldwide are participating in the campaign to spotlight the risks associated with purchasing lottery tickets for children.

66 lotteries and 84 community organizations join the campaign

In response, 66 lotteries and 84 community organizations worldwide joined the 2023 Gift Responsibly Campaign.

According to the NCPG’s press release, throughout November and December, participating organizations will:

  • Work to educate communities about the dangers of gifting lottery tickets to children
  • Raise awareness of the risks of youth gambling
  • Promote responsible gambling practices for those of legal age who choose to gamble.

The campaign provides a tiered approach for lotteries, with increasing levels of participation. Activities include:

  • Public service announcements
  • Social media messaging
  • Digital advertising
  • In-store signage
  • Retailer training

What all activities have in common is a singular message – lottery products are not appropriate gifts for children.

Research shows that the earlier the person is exposed to gambling in childhood, the more likely they are to develop a gambling problem later in life. Children’s first gambling exposures usually start with a lottery product given by an adult who is likely unaware of the associated risks.

Jeffrey Derevensky, Director of the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviours, said in the NCPG press release:

“With the growing social acceptability and opportunities available for gambling on an international level, it is important to remember that even young people may experience gambling-related problems. The Gift Responsibly Campaign is a great reminder for adults not to gift lottery tickets to minors.”

Six years of international collaboration promotes responsible gambling

All eligible US and Canadian lotteries have joined the campaign for the sixth consecutive year, alongside numerous international lotteries and non-lottery organizations.

The campaign stands as a collaborative, international effort to safeguard the well-being of young people and is endorsed by:

  • The North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries
  • World Lottery Association
  • European Lotteries

Keith Whyte, NCPG Executive Director, emphasized that, especially during the holiday season, it’s critical to recognize that lottery tickets are inappropriate gifts for children or teens. Whyte said:

“We applaud the numerous lotteries and community organizations for joining the campaign to amplify this vital message, fostering public awareness and understanding of the potential risks associated with youth gambling.

The Gift Responsibly campaign stands out as one of the largest international responsible gambling awareness campaigns, underlining our collective commitment to safeguarding youth and promoting responsible gambling practices worldwide.”

Photo by PlayUSA
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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for PlayCanada.com. Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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