An Illinois behavioural health organisation has warned adults not to buy lottery tickets for underaged people as gifts this upcoming Christmas season, adding to the growing number of voices concerned over gambling harms.
As reported by WIFR, Focus Youth Gambling Prevention, a division of the Illinois Association of Behavioural Health, is aiming to raise awareness of the possible risks and consequences of exposing young people to gambling at an early age.
“Our message is a simple one: lottery tickets are appropriate gifts only for adults,” Sarah Martin, Focus Youth Gambling’s Prevention Program Coordinator told WIFR. “Research linking early exposure to gambling to future problem gambling and other risky behaviours is why ‘Focus’ is involved in the campaign.”
The initiative is organised by the National Council on Problem Gambling and makes up part of its Gift Responsibly campaign.
Scientific Games alongside a host of US and Canadian lotteries have already committed to the campaign, with the firm tying the campaign in with its own Healthy Play program.
Earlier this week, the Arkansas Lottery announced it would be taking part in the National Responsible Gambling Campaign, also warning against lottery tickets as Christmas gifts.
“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,” added Keith Whyte, Executive Director of the NCPG.