Gift Responsibly: Lottery Games Are Not For Children

Maryland Lottery joins annual international campaign to promote responsible play

The holidays are around the corner, and with the gift-giving season about to begin, the Maryland Lottery offers a reminder that lottery tickets are not for children.

The Maryland Lottery prohibits its retailers from selling tickets to anyone under the age of 18, and the Lottery does not market its games or promotions to minors. In addition, we urge our players not to give Lottery tickets to anyone younger than 18 or allow them to play scratch-offs.

This holiday season, the Maryland Lottery is once again joining national and international groups along with dozens of other lotteries in promoting responsible giving and gaming. Coordinating the Holiday Lottery Responsible Gaming Campaign are 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.

“Promoting responsible play is important in everything we do,” said Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director Gordon Medenica. “We encourage our players to enjoy lottery games in moderation, and the annual holiday campaign is an excellent opportunity to remind everyone that lottery tickets aren’t appropriate gifts for children.”

The Lottery emphasizes responsible gambling by placing responsible play messages on its marketing and promotional materials. The messages include the 1-800-GAMBLER helpline number, which is available 24 hours a day. The Lottery also is a founding member of the Maryland Alliance for Responsible Gambling (MARG), which brings state agencies and gambling stakeholders together to develop resources to assist problem gamblers. Visit for details.

The Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling, a unit of the State’s Department of Health, has joined the Lottery as a partner in the Holiday Lottery Responsible Gaming Campaign. The Center of Excellence is a key member of MARG and offers free problem gambling assessment and treatment services to Maryland residents. Information on those services is available at or by calling 1-800-GAMBLER.

In an effort to become a world leader in responsible gaming, the Maryland Lottery has earned 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 pursuing the highest of these levels, which requires an ongoing progression of education and training programs for Lottery employees and retailers.