Stuffing Stockings with Lottery Scratch-offs?

Lottery tickets and scratch-off cards are extra enticing during the holiday season with their special promotions and themes. Plus, they are fun, fast, and frugal stocking stuffers! However, gambling addiction organizations are warning adults about sharing this excitement with children.

"We urge adults not to give lottery tickets and scratch cards to children at any time as it contributes to the normalization of gambling," says Graeme Ramsey of the Problem Gambling Foundation.

He says research shows that the earlier children are exposed to gambling, the more likely they are to develop gambling problems as adults. Not to mention that this innocent practice is illegal.

Young people are often first introduced to gambling by family members, whether it's teaching them card games, buying them toy slot machines, or letting them scratch off or check the numbers of their lottery tickets. And this occurrence is worldwide. A survey of 9,107 middle school students in New Zealand, conducted by the University of Auckland, found that 44% of them had used scratch-off cards in 2007.

Another study conducted in Nova Scotia, Canada revealed that 19% of high school students received one or more lottery tickets or scratch cards as gifts, of which 86% came from family members.

So, parents, grandparents, friends who have friends with lots of kids: you may want to think twice before letting the little ones long for the loot. They'll become money hungry much sooner than you think anyway. Plus, it will be a much more special experience for them when they can buy that very first lottery ticket on their 18th birthday.  

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Categories: Gambling

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