Children don’t need Scratch Off Tickets for Christmas

Friendly Reminder from NSGC: Holiday lottery tickets aren’t for the kiddos!

Children don't need Scratch Off Tickets for ChristmasIt’s that time of year again. Fireplaces are crackling with warmth to counter the bitter chill in the air. Children are dreaming of their favorite holiday desserts and an impending visit from Old Saint Nick. Parents are scrambling in preparation of the joys of the coming weeks. All the while, provincial gaming regulators are making a bundle off their seasonally themed scratch off tickets.

As each of these traditions converge, the Nova Scotia Gaming Corp (NSGC) is taking a moment to remind everyone that every gift has its place. For lottery tickets, that place is not within the stocking of a child.

Holiday Tickets Aren’t for the Kiddos

Parents and relatives, caregivers and friends; all are asked to heed the warning. Although oft overlooked, encouraging gambling among minors is unlawful. The Mounties won’t come banging down your door for it, but the consequences of giving a child scratch off tickets go far beyond any legal threat.

Minors are an influential bunch. Convincing them at such a young age that the lottery is a fun and easy way to win money isn’t cohesive to a responsible future. We don’t want to see it this way, but scratch offs can be an early breeding ground for compulsive behavior and gambling addiction. A child who is given a lottery ticket does not see a cost. They see a joyful holiday graphic and dollar signs dancing in their heads.

NSGC Friendly Reminder: Holiday Lottery Tickets aren't for the Kiddos

If they happen to win money on those tickets, it only perpetuates the theory that holiday scratchies are profitable. No one bothers to explain that the odds of winning are between 25-33%, with a payout ratio of 57-70%. That wouldn’t make sense to a child. But if they don’t learn the odds before developing inordinate favor for the games, they may never grasp the concept at all. It’s the very reason why only responsible, understanding adults are permitted to buy them in the first place.

Friendly Reminder from Nova Scotia Gaming

Once again—as they’ve done each year for more than a decade—the NSGC is sharing this message to raise awareness among gift-giving adults. The annual campaign advises parents against underage lottery play; an act that should not be overlooked during the holiday season.

Bob MacKinnon is the President and CEO of the NSGC. He’s joining more than 50 participating lottery organizations all across Canada and the United States in helping to spread the word.

“We want to remind everyone we all have a role in preventing minors from playing lottery products this holiday season,” says Mr. MacKinnon. “While lottery and scratch tickets are appropriate gifts throughout the year for adults, with particular popularity around the holidays, they are never appropriate gifts for children.”

The Proof is in the Figgy Pudding

According to behavioral research by the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviours at McGill University and the National Council on Problem Gambling, adults who experience gambling addiction are often exposed to such behavior somewhere between the ages of 10 and 19. The simple, seemingly innocent act of stuffing stockings with holiday lottery tickets only helps to contribute to these frightening statistics.

Mr. MacKinnon hopes that all adults will join him this holiday season in the commitment to “supporting education and preventative programming that contributes to safe and responsible gambling, especially where minors are concerned.”

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