The Arkansas Lottery has issued a warning to its players reminding them of the potential harms associated with buying lottery tickets as stocking-filler gifts for minors at Christmas.
The lottery pointed out that scratch-off tickets can act as a gateway to further gambling, posing a risk of stemming problem gambling amongst young people.
Taking part in the National Responsible Gambling Campaign, Arkansas Lottery is aiming to reduce problem gambling by minimising contact between young people and gambling activity at an early stage.
The NRGC is spearheaded by the National Council on Problem Gambling and the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University.
The lottery’s Executive Director, Eric Hagler, warned adults to be active partners in preventing lottery tickets from ending up in the hands of minors.
“We urge everyone to remember during the holidays – or anytime for that matter – to give lottery tickets only to people who are 18 years old or older,” said Hagler. “We want to help raise awareness regarding the risks of underage lottery play.
“Lottery scratch-off tickets have been shown to present a possible gateway to other gambling activities, and as crazy as it sounds, a number of young people report their first gambling experience occurs around nine to 11 years of age; we certainly don’t condone that.”
This coincides with the National Council on Problem Gambling’s (NCPG) annual “Gift Responsibly” holiday campaign which similarly warns adults of their duties to keep gambling activities away from minors.
Scientific Games also announced that it was joining the campaign to tie in with its Healthy Play program, alongside a host of other US and Canadian lotteries.