Lottery tickets may be fun-filled and exciting presents, but they are not suitable gifts for minors. Studies suggest that gambling is a popular yet risky activity among youth. Additionally, researchers have reported a correlation between age of gambling onset and problem gambling later in life. Lottery play is sometimes an initial introduction to gambling activities for minors.
Lottery tickets should not be purchased as holiday gifts for children, stresses the International Centre for Youth Gambling in their 2015 Holiday Campaign, now underway.
Research has shown that many adolescents gamble at least occasionally, and that lottery products may be a gateway to problem gambling. Youth gambling has also been linked to other risk-taking and addictive behaviours such as smoking, drinking and drug-use.
"Today, young men, the most susceptible to becoming problem gamblers, are using the internet to risk thousands of dollars daily on sports without the legally mandated safeguards that casinos and regulated sports books must follow," writes the New York Times in a recent article discussing the rising phenomenon of online fantasy sports betting.