Lottery tickets aren’t child’s play


Published: 1Dec2020

Research shows that early childhood gambling experiences, including those with lottery products, can be a risk factor for gambling problems later in life.

This research prompted the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University and the U.S. National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) to join forces in launching the Responsible Gambling Holiday Lottery Campaign. Since 2002, the simple goal of the Campaign is to raise awareness about the risks of underage lottery play during the winter holiday season.

In 2020, 100% of Canadian and U.S. lotteries, along with numerous international lotteries and non-lottery organizations, have joined the Campaign to promote responsible gambling. The Campaign is also endorsed by the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL).

Jeffrey Derevensky, Director of the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors said, “the Responsible Gambling Holiday Lottery Campaign is a great way to encourage responsible gambling by gifting lottery tickets responsibly only to adults.”

“The Responsible Gambling Holiday Lottery Campaign educates communities that lottery tickets, the form of gambling with the broadest participation, are not child’s play,” explained NCPG Executive Director Keith Whyte.

About the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors

For 25 years, the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University has been at the forefront of leading-edge research aimed at identifying and understanding the critical factors related to youth gambling issues. The Centre has developed numerous award-winning prevention programs and provides consultations to government agencies around the world to develop responsible gambling initiatives.

About the National Council on Problem Gambling

NCPG is the national advocate for problem gamblers and their families. NCPG is neutral on legalized gambling and works with all stakeholders to promote responsible gambling. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call or text the National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700 or visit for confidential help.

The 2020 Responsible Gambling Holiday Lottery Campaign participants include:

Lottery Level 3: Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis, British Columbia Lottery Corporation, Connecticut Lottery Corporation, DC Lottery, Hoosier Lottery, Illinois Lottery, Mississippi Lottery Corporation, New York State Gaming Commission - Division of the Lottery, Oregon State Lottery, Virginia Lottery.

Lottery Level 2: Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, Colorado Lottery, Florida Lottery , Georgia Lottery Corporation, Hrvatska Lutrija (Croatia), Iowa Lottery Authority, Kentucky Lottery Corporation, Lotto New Zealand, Massachusetts State Lottery, Minnesota Lottery, Missouri Lottery, North Carolina Education Lottery, Ohio Lottery Commission, Österreichische Lotterien GmbH (Austria), Pennsylvania Lottery, Rhode Island Lottery, South Dakota Lottery, Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation, Texas Lottery Commission.

Lottery Level 1: Arizona Lottery, Atlantic Lottery Corporation, California State Lottery, Delaware Lottery, Idaho Lottery, Kansas Lottery, Loto-Québec, Louisiana Lottery Corporation, Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries , Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, Michigan Bureau of State Lottery, Montana Lottery, Nebraska Lottery, New Hampshire Lottery, New Jersey Lottery, New Mexico Lottery, Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation, Oklahoma Lottery, Ontario Lottery and Gaming , Saskatchewan Lotteries , Sazka, South Carolina Education Lottery, Vermont Lottery, Washington's Lottery, West Virginia Lottery, Wisconsin Lottery, Wyoming Lottery Corporation.

Non-Lottery Participants: AdCare Educational Institute of Maine, Armstrong Indiana Clarion Drug & Alcohol Commission, Association of Problem Gambling Service Administrators, Big Village, CCDAEC, Council on Chemical Abuse, Employee & Family Resources, Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems, Illinois Council on Problem Gambling, Indiana Council on Problem Gambling, Jackpocket, Maine Council on Problem Gambling, Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling, Maryland Council on Problem Gambling, Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health , Nebraska Council on Problem Gambling, Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance, Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addictions, Oklahoma Association on Problem and Compulsive Gambling, Problem Gambling Services, Rhode Island Council on Problem Gambling, Scientific Games, South Suburban Council, Substance Abuse Services Center, Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC), The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Umatilla County Public Health.

About McGill University

Founded in Montreal, Quebec, in 1821, McGill University is Canada’s top ranked medical doctoral university. McGill is consistently ranked as one of the top universities, both nationally and internationally. It is a world-renowned institution of higher learning with research activities spanning two campuses, 11 faculties, 13 professional schools, 300 programs of study and over 40,000 students, including more than 10,200 graduate students. McGill attracts students from over 150 countries around the world, its 12,800 international students making up 31% per cent of the student body. Over half of McGill students claim a first language other than English, including approximately 19% of our students who say French is their mother tongue.

Contact Information

Frederique Mazerolle
McGill University
frederique.mazerolle [at]
Office Phone: 
(514) 398-6693
Mobile Phone: 
(514) 617-8615
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