Age-Appropriate Gifts are Better Options for the Holidays and other Occasions
Research shows that early childhood gambling experiences, including those with lottery products, can be a risk factor for gambling problems later in life. This holiday season, give a child a gift, not a lottery ticket – and have the conversation with your family about the risks of underage gambling.
“Youth problem gambling has emerged as a significant and growing public health issue. We applaud the Maine Council on Problem Gambling and AdCare Educational Institute of Maine’s commitment to raising awareness about risks of youth gambling through the Gift Responsibly Campaign,” said Keith Whyte, NCPG Executive Director. “Our message is a simple one: lottery tickets are never appropriate gifts for children.”
According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, approximately 60 percent of high-school-aged adolescents report having gambled for money during the past year. Four to six percent of adolescents presently have a serious problem with gambling. The teen brain is susceptible to addiction, and gambling problems are linked to lower grades, use of alcohol and drugs, and mental health problems including depression and anxiety.
Research linking early exposure to gambling to future problem gambling and other risky behaviors inspired the Gift Responsibly Campaign to raise awareness about the risks of underage lottery play during the winter holiday season and other occasions throughout the year. Each year, the Maine Council on Problem Gambling and AdCare Educational Institute of Maine join the National Council on Problem Gambling and International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors in educating the public with the message that lottery tickets aren’t child’s play.
Learn more about youth gambling at maineproblemgambling.org. If you or someone you know, no matter what the age, has a gambling problem, in Maine, call 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 898-211.
About the Maine Council on Problem Gambling
The Maine Council on Problem Gambling is a volunteer-driven 501(c)3 non-profit committed to working with other organizations and individuals to reduce problem gambling and its impact on Maine’s individuals, families, and communities. Learn more at maineproblemgambling.org
About AdCare Educational Institute of Maine
The mission of AdCare Educational Institute is to advance knowledge, skills, and awareness in the prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery of substance use disorders, behavioral health, and related public health issues. AdCare’s Problem Gambling Services program provides education on problem gambling, manages problem gambling services including non-casino self-exclusion sites, as well oversight of the Gambling Addiction Treatment Network. Learn more at adcareme.org/problem-gambling.
About the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG)
NCPG is the national advocate for people and families affected by problem gambling. 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 www.ncpgambling.org/chat for confidential help.
About International Center for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University
For over 20 years, the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviours 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.