There is one gift that officials hope you don’t give this year.
New Jersey Lottery officials are working to discourage the gifting of lottery tickets to minors, especially during the upcoming holiday season.
The lottery has once again joined forces with the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey in their efforts to prevent underage gambling this holiday season. While adults are not legally barred from buying tickets and giving them to minors, state law does requires that ticket buyers be at least 18 years old.
Donald Weinbaum, the council's executive director, urged adults planning to give lottery tickets as gifts should consider the age of the recipient when making their choices.
“Parents really can make a difference and reduce the risk of children developing gambling problems,” Weinbaum said. “Let's send the right message this year and refrain from giving lottery tickets to young children.”
Experts say adult problem gamblers frequently report beginning gambling during childhood, often between 9 and 10 years old, with other family members. And a recent Yale University study found that youngsters who received instant tickets as a gift tended to begin gambling earlier in life.
There also is strong evidence that 70-80 percent of adolescents have gambled for money in the past year and 30 percent are gambling on a weekly basis, lottery officials said.