A Holiday Gift-Giving Reminder: Lottery Tickets Aren’t For Children

Maryland Lottery joins international Gift Responsibly campaign

With the holiday shopping season underway, and the Maryland Lottery offers a reminder that while Lottery tickets are great fun for adults, they are not appropriate gifts for anyone younger than 18.

The Maryland Lottery is joining more than 80 lotteries and organizations around the world in an international effort to promote responsible giving and gaming, with the theme: “Lottery tickets aren’t child’s play.”

The Gift Responsibly Campaign is organized by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) in Washington, D.C. and the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University in Canada.

“Responsible gaming initiatives are an important year-round priority for us,” said Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin. “But during the holiday gift-giving season, there’s an extra sense of purpose in delivering the message that Lottery tickets are not appropriate for anyone under the age of 18. We are extremely careful to avoid marketing our tickets to children.”

The Lottery emphasizes responsible gambling by displaying responsible play messages on all of its marketing and promotional materials. The messages include the 1-800-426-2537 helpline, which is available 24 hours a day. The Lottery also works closely with its 4,400 retailers to ensure that they comply with state law that prohibits minors from purchasing tickets.

Maryland Lottery and Gaming is a founding member of the Maryland Alliance for Responsible Gambling (MARG), which brings together state agencies and gambling stakeholders to develop resources to assist problem gamblers. Visit mdgamblinghelp.org for details.

The Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling, a unit of the Maryland Department of Health, has joined the Lottery as a partner in the Gift Responsibly Campaign. The Center of Excellence is a key member of MARG and offers problem gambling assessment and treatment services free of charge to Maryland residents. Information on those services is available at mdproblemgambling.com or by calling 1-800-426-2537.

The Maryland Lottery’s focus on responsible gaming led to World Lottery Association (WLA) certification of its policies, procedures and programs. The WLA is a global organization that offers lotteries a comprehensive framework of responsible gambling principles to follow and four levels of certification. The Lottery is preparing to submit its application for the highest of these levels, which requires an ongoing progression of education and training programs for Lottery employees and retailers.

“We are very appreciative of the Maryland Lottery’s efforts to educate adults and retailers about the potential consequences associated with underage Lottery play,” said NCPG Executive Director Keith Whyte. “Regardless of what time of year it is, adults should find gift options for children other than lottery tickets.”