Don’t Take a Chance on Holiday Gifts for Kids

The National Council on Problem Gambling and McGill University team up with lotteries around the world to discourage giving lottery products to underage children.

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Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) December 11, 2013

This year marks the sixth year that the U.S. National Council on Problem Gambling and the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University have partnered with dozens of lottery corporations around the globe to increase public awareness about the impact of giving lottery products as gifts to minors.

There is strong evidence suggesting that 70-80 per cent of adolescents have gambled for money in the past year, with approximately 30 per cent doing so on a weekly basis.

“We know that one significant risk factor for problem gambling is early age of onset of gambling behavior and many problem gamblers report beginning gambling during childhood - around the ages of nine or ten,” explained Keith Whyte, Executive Director, National Council on Problem Gambling. “A recent study revealed that youngsters who received instant lottery tickets as a gift tended to develop more dangerous gambling patterns. We encourage adults to reduce risk factors in their children’s lives by keeping a person’s age in mind when purchasing lottery tickets.”

“We know that playing the lottery at a young age is inappropriate and can increase the potential for problem gambling later in life,” said Jeffrey Derevensky, co-director of the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University. “We welcome the collaborative efforts of lottery corporations worldwide to help raise awareness about this issue, as together we can make a difference in preventing underage gambling and gambling problems.”

This year the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL) Board of Directors, and ultimately the entire membership, unanimously approved a resolution encouraging participation in the Holiday Campaign. Whyte stated, "The unanimous endorsement of the campaign by NASPL is a significant step that sends a strong signal across the entire gaming industry. We believe responsible gaming is a positive approach to minimizing gambling-related harm and therefore maximizing public benefit. We are proud to work with NASPL and look forward to additional partnership opportunities."

The organizers thank the Kentucky Lottery Corporation for providing graphic design services for the campaign this year. Participating lotteries to date this year include:

AB Svenska Spel (Sweden) • Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission • Atlantic Lottery • Arizona Lottery • Austrian Lotteries • British Columbia Lottery Corporation • California Lottery • Camelot (United Kingdom) • Connecticut Lottery Corporation • Hrvatska Lutrija d.o.o. (Croatia) • Illinois Lottery • Iowa Lottery • Kentucky Lottery Corporation • La Française des Jeux (France) • Loto-Québec • Manitoba Lotteries • Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency • Massachusetts State Lottery • Minnesota State Lottery • Missouri Lottery • Montana Lottery • New Mexico Lottery • North Carolina Education Lottery • Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Corporation • Ohio Lottery Commission • Oklahoma Lottery Commission • Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation • Oregon Lottery • Pennsylvania Lottery • Rhode Island Lottery • Saskatchewan Lotteries • State Lottery of Serbia • South Dakota Lottery • Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation • Texas Lottery • Vermont Lottery Commission • Virginia Lottery • Washington’s Lottery

If you give a lottery product as a gift please make sure you keep the person’s age in mind.

For more information contact:

1.    Dr. Jeffrey Derevensky, Co-Director, International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors, McGill University, http://www.youthgambling.com, (514) 398-4249, jeffrey.derevensky(at)mcgill(dot)ca

2.    Jocelyn Wilcox, Program Administrator, National Council on Problem Gambling,
http://www.ncpgambling.org/holiday
(202) 547-9204 ext 24 or jocelynw(at)ncpgambling(dot)org

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