NJ Lottery: Gambling Addiction Is Not A Merry Holiday Gift For Your Child

Sure, you can’t take your favorite 10-year-old niece with you to your favorite casino to feed electronic quarters into a dazzling slot machine until her eyes glaze over and she enters a gambling-induced trance. That’s generally illegal. What’s perfectly legal, though, is buying her a nice pile of instant lottery tickets to play. You have to be 18 years old to buy scratchers, but not to play them. Which is why the New Jersey State Lottery and the state Council on Compulsive Gambling put out a statement this week warning that giving lottery tickets to kids might just win them a lifetime of gambling addiction.

The statement cited research from Yale University on early exposure to gambling. A survey of high school students showed that kids who received lottery tickets as youngsters had much more permissive attitudes toward gambling. Or is this one of those correlation/causation things, where kids who grew up in families with a strict prohibition on gambling wouldn’t ever receive a lottery ticket in a birthday card?

Children shouldn’t be given lottery tickets as gifts, groups say [NJ.com] (Thanks, RG!)
Kids who get gifts of scratch lottery tickets gamble earlier in life [YaleNews]