Lottery tickets aren’t child’s play


Please remember to gift lottery products responsibly
Published: 8Dec2016

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.

This research along with a growing concern about adolescent problem gambling prompted the development of the Holiday Lottery Campaign. This annual responsible gambling campaign is aimed at increasing public awareness about the impact of gifting lottery products to minors. It is a collaborative initiative between McGill University’s Youth Gambling Centre, the U.S. National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and more than 50 lottery corporations around the globe.

“Playing the lottery at a young age can increase the potential for problem gambling later in life” said Jeffrey Derevensky, Director of McGill University’s Youth Gambling Centre. “We welcome the collaborative efforts of lottery corporations worldwide to help raise awareness about this issue. Together we can make a difference in preventing underage gambling and gambling problems.”

NCPG Executive Director Keith Whyte explained that it’s vital to raise awareness because research shows that some problem gamblers report beginning gambling during childhood – as early as 9-10 years of age. “The Holiday Campaign is a great way to encourage responsible gambling and help keep the fun in the holidays by gifting lottery tickets responsibly to adults.”

The Holiday Lottery campaign is endorsed by the World Lottery Association, North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL) and the European Lottery Association (EL), highlighting the global reach of the campaign.  Keith Whyte said, “We believe responsible gambling is a positive approach to minimizing gambling-related harm and therefore maximizing public benefit. We are proud to work with WLA, NASPL and the EL and over 50 participating lotteries—a record number this year.”

The list of 2016 participating lotteries includes:


Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, Atlantic Lottery, British Columbia Lottery Corporation, Loto-Québec, Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries, Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Corp., Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, Saskatchewan Lotteries

United States

Arizona Lottery, Arkansas Lottery Commission, California Lottery, Connecticut Lottery Corporation, Delaware Lottery, DC Lottery and Charitable Games, Florida Lottery, Georgia Lottery Corporation, Hoosier Lottery, Idaho Lottery, Iowa Lottery, Illinois Lottery, Kansas Lottery, Kentucky Lottery Corporation, Maine Lottery, Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Agency, Massachusetts State Lottery, Michigan Bureau of State Lottery, Minnesota State Lottery, Missouri Lottery, Montana Lottery, Nebraska Lottery, New Hampshire Lottery, New Jersey Lottery, New Mexico Lottery, New York Lottery, North Carolina Education Lottery, Ohio Lottery Commission, Oklahoma Lottery Commission, Oregon Lottery, Pennsylvania Lottery, Rhode Island Lottery, South Carolina Education Lottery, South Dakota Lottery, Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation, Texas Lottery, Vermont Lottery Commission, Virgin Islands Lottery, Virginia Lottery,  Washington’s Lottery,  West Virginia Lottery,  Wisconsin Lottery,  Wyoming Lottery


AB Svenska Spel (Sweden),  Austrian Lotteries, Hrvatska Lutrija d.o.o. (Croatia),  Lottotech Limited (Mauritius), Lotto New Zealand, Tatts Group Lotteries (Australia)

For more information contact:

Dr. Jeffrey Derevensky, Director, International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors, McGill University
(514) 398-4249
jeffrey.derevensky [at]


Keith Whyte , Executive Director, National Council on Problem Gambling
(202) 547-9204
keithw [at]

Contact Information

Katherine Gombay
McGill University, Media Relations
katherine.gombay [at]
Office Phone: 
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