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NJ LOTTERY: “Gifting Scratch-Off Tickets to Minors is Not Appropriate, Prohibited”

New Jersey

By: Richard L. Smith 

Are you considering giving scratch-off lottery tickets to the kids on your Christmas list? Well, think again. NJ Lottery officials warn against them and say, 'lottery tickets aren't child's play.' 

During the most festive time of the year, when gifting and giving take center stage in homes around the world, trying to find a particular item for a child can be difficult, but initiating a youngster to gamble could be harmful for quite some time. 

The first message it sends to kids is that gambling is a game. It can be just that for responsible adults who drop into the casino for a few hands of blackjack or a few spins on a slot machine. 

NJ Lottery officials said in a statement that during this holiday season, the New Jersey Lottery (NJL) and the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, Inc. (CCGNJ) had joined together with other lotteries around the country to build public awareness that lottery products are not an appropriate gift for minors. 

“Lottery tickets are popular gift choices to slip into a card or include as a stocking stuffer during the holiday season, and we caution parents and other adults against gifting lottery tickets to children,”- NJL Executive Director James A. Carey, Jr.

"New Jersey law requires lottery purchasers to be 18 or older. While the law does not prohibit adults from giving minors tickets, research suggests this is not a good idea."

The Council on Problem Gambling and the World Lottery Association are among other organizations warning adults that giving out lottery tickets as gift cards is a bad idea.

NJ Lottery officials said to reinforce those messages, the Lottery and the CCGNJ have developed a video to urge residents to use good judgment when making holiday gift selections for children.

The video, now available for viewing on the "Responsible Play" page of the Lottery's website and the CCGNJ's website, explains the potential dangers of involving minors in lottery play and other forms of gambling before they are old enough to understand the risks.

In addition to the video, the Lottery has also crafted a holiday advertising campaign that includes the message, "'Tis the season to gift responsibly. The Lottery is not child's play.

The New Jersey Lottery is a provider of fun and entertaining games that are not intended for anyone under the age of 18.

Parents are urged not to give lottery tickets to children."

According to Felicia Grondin, executive director of the CCGNJ, "The Lottery is a valuable partner with the Council on Compulsive Gambling in efforts to remind residents that lottery tickets are not an appropriate gift for minors. 

The Council urges parents to use sound judgment in making holiday gift selections for their children. Adult problem gamblers frequently report beginning gambling during childhood, often at ages 9-10. So this holiday season, if you choose to give a lottery ticket as a gift, consider the recipient's age.

There is a reason why New Jersey has established minimum ages for gambling activities."