Maryland Lottery Joins Worldwide Effort to Encourage Responsible Holiday Gifting

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

The Maryland Lottery, in conjunction with the National Council on Problem Gambling and the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors, has joined lotteries worldwide to promote the holiday campaign “Lotteries are not Child’s Play. Give Responsibly this Holiday Season.”

The annual campaign works to ensure that adults do not purchase lottery tickets for their underage children and relatives and highlights the risks of giving lottery tickets and scratch-offs as holiday gifts to minors. “We always emphasize that lottery play is strictly for individuals 18 years of age or older,” said Maryland Lottery Director Stephen Martino. “While giving scratch-offs as holiday gifts is fun for adults, it is certainly not appropriate for children.”

Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, said: “We know that there are risk factors for gambling problems, one of them being, gambling at an early age. We are encouraging adults to simply help reduce risk factors for the children in their lives.”

A record number of lottery corporations throughout the world are sharing the message, including AB Svenska Spel (Sweden), Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, Austrian Lotteries, British Columbia Lottery Corporation, Jogos Santa Casa (Portugal), Loto-Québec, LOTTO Saxony-Anhalt (Germany), Manitoba Lotteries, Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, Saskatchewan Lotteries, as well as numerous lotteries across the United States.

“We look forward to growing support and encourage all lottery corporations to join with us to convey the message that lottery tickets are for adults … not for children,” said Dr. Jeffrey Derevensky, co-director of McGill’s International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors and a renowned expert on problem gambling among young people.

The holiday campaign is yet another way the Maryland Lottery is working to promote responsible gambling. In April 2011, The Maryland Alliance for Responsible Gambling (MARG) was formed. The statewide partnership focuses on coordinating and maximizing resources to address responsible gambling awareness and problem gambling treatment in Maryland. Alliance members include the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH); Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services; Maryland State Senate; Maryland House of Delegates; Maryland Council on Problem Gambling; Office of Problem-Solving Courts and representatives of Maryland’s casinos.

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