If You’re Gifting Lottery Games, Remember They’re for Ages 18 & Up

Maryland Lottery reminds everyone that Lottery tickets are not for children

The holiday season is here! While everyone wants to give the perfect gift to friends and family members, remember that you should never give Maryland Lottery tickets to anyone under the age of 18. The Lottery urges everyone to gift and play responsibly.

“Responsible play is always an important message for us, and a big part of that message is that Lottery tickets aren’t intended for children,” said Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin. “We collaborate with our retailers to prevent the sales of Lottery tickets to minors, and we work strategically to make sure that our games and promotions aren’t aimed at anyone under age 18.”

The Lottery has joined the National Council on Problem Gambling’s annual Gift Responsibly Campaign, which educates the public on the dangers of allowing minors to play Lottery games. Research shows that children who are exposed to gambling are more likely to develop gambling problems as adults. The research also finds that when a child gambles, it is often because an adult, who is unaware of the associated risks, introduces the child to a Lottery product.

“The holidays are a wonderful time for gathering with loved ones and for sharing great gifts. But please remember that Lottery tickets are for adults only,” said Jasmine Countess, Maryland Lottery director of responsible gaming. “These are not appropriate gifts for minors.”

The minimum age to purchase or play a Lottery game or participate in any of the Lottery’s promotions is 18. Maryland Lottery retailers receive responsible play guidance through mandatory training, and are prohibited by law from selling Lottery tickets to minors.

The Lottery displays responsible play messages on all of its marketing and promotional materials. The messages include the 1-800-GAMBLER helpline, which is available 24 hours a day. Maryland residents are eligible for no-cost counseling, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. Information is available by calling the helpline number or visiting mdgamblinghelp.org.

“If you know someone who may need help and you aren’t sure how to talk to them about it, you can call 1-800-GAMBLER to get advice on starting the conversation,” Countess said. “The resources are free and are available to all Marylanders.”