(ROSEVILLE, MN (December 3, 2019) -The Minnesota Lottery and the Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance (NPGA) announced today they are participating in an international responsible gambling campaign to raise awareness about the risks of underage lottery play during the holiday season. Both organizations will promote the importance of responsible gambling through various media channels, joining a growing effort to raise awareness about this issue around Minnesota, the United States and North America.

December is a time when many cultures share in gift giving, and some may consider giving scratch tickets to young people as gifts. “While a scratch-off ticket may provide momentary excitement, underage recipients don’t have the cognitive development to discern the potential risks of gambling,” says Susan Sheridan Tucker, NPGA executive director. “This is why tickets sales are limited to adults.” When a trusted adult provides a ticket to a minor, it sends the message that the activity is an acceptable practice.

Youth gambling is particularly concerning because researchers have established a link between the age at which a person first gambles and the occurrence of excessive or problem gambling later in life. Studies have also shown that many adolescents gamble at least occasionally, and that lottery products, particularly scratch tickets, often serve as an introduction to gambling activities for youth.

“While we think lottery tickets make for fun gifts for adults, they are not appropriate as a gift for minors,” says Adam Prock, executive director of the Minnesota Lottery. “The commitment of the Minnesota Lottery and so many other lotteries around the country demonstrates our interest in ensuring that lottery participation is both fun and safe.” Both Tucker and Prock feel that responsible gambling is a positive approach to minimizing gambling-related harm and maximizing public benefit.

About Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance 
Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance is a nonprofit, gambling-neutral organization dedicated to improving the lives of Minnesotans affected by problem gambling. A 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, NPGA is funded by membership fees, financial and in-kind donations, and state and private grants. NPGA serves as Minnesota’s affiliate to the National Council on Problem Gambling.

About Minnesota State Lottery 
The Minnesota Lottery raises money for programs that positively impact the lives of Minnesotans. It offers uniquely Minnesotan games of chance that are held to the highest standard of integrity and security. Since 1990, the Lottery has returned more than $3.1 billion to programs that benefit all Minnesotans, including the state’s most precious natural resources, education, health care and more.

If someone you know needs help with a gambling problem, call (800) 333-HOPE. Treatment is available at no cost in Minnesota.