A Holiday-Season Reminder: Lottery Tickets Are Not for Children

As the season of giving approaches, the Maryland Lottery is participating in an international effort to remind our players that Lottery tickets are not appropriate gifts for anyone younger than 18. Lottery tickets are festive and fun, and scratch-offs are particularly convenient for slipping into holiday greeting cards, but they are not for children.

The Maryland Lottery is once again joining dozens of other lotteries in the U.S., Canada and around the world in the Holiday Lottery Responsible Gaming Campaign. This annual effort is jointly coordinated 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 Montreal.

The Maryland Lottery does not market or sell tickets to children, and we urge our players not to provide tickets to minors.

“Encouraging responsible play is one of our highest priorities,” said Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director Gordon Medenica. “We’re deeply committed to responsible gambling efforts and ensuring that the Maryland Lottery is a leader in this area. Being part of the holiday campaign is an important part of a much larger effort.”

Maryland Lottery and Gaming emphasizes responsible gambling year-round by including responsible play messaging on all of its marketing and promotional materials. These messages include the 1-800-GAMBLER helpline number, which is available 24 hours a day to provide assistance to individuals with gambling problems. Maryland Lottery and Gaming is also a founding member of the Maryland Alliance for Responsible Gambling (MARG), a collaborative forum in which state agencies and gambling stakeholders work together to develop resources to assist problem gamblers. For information, visit mdgamblinghelp.org.

In addition, the Maryland Lottery is a member of the World Lottery Association (WLA), a global organization that offers a framework of responsible gambling principles and four levels of certification. The Maryland Lottery is pursuing the highest levels of WLA certification, which require ongoing education and training programs for Lottery employees and retailers.

Now in its 11th year, the Holiday Lottery Responsible Gaming Campaign has been expanded to provide avenues for non-lottery organizations to participate. Among the non-lottery participants is the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling, one of the key members of MARG. Maryland residents are eligible for free problem gambling assessment and treatment through the Center of Excellence. Information on those services is available at mdproblemgambling.com, or by calling 1-800-GAMBLER.