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Officials: Don’t gift lottery tickets to kids this holiday season

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The New York State Gaming Commission, in collaboration with the National Council on Problematic Gambling (NCPG), is urging adults to refrain from gifting lottery tickets to children this holiday season.

Emphasizing the potential risks associated with early exposure to gambling, Gaming Commission Chair Brian O’Dwyer stressed the importance of age-appropriate gifts. The warning is part of the NCPG’s national Gift Responsibly campaign, which aims to raise awareness about the dangers of underage gambling.

Research from the NCPG indicates that many adolescents have their first gambling experience between the ages of 9 and 11, and a significant percentage of high-school-aged teens have gambled for money in the past year.

The NCPG’s findings reveal that early gambling can lead to serious issues, with a notable percentage of adolescents at risk of developing gambling problems. Moreover, individuals who begin gambling at a young age are more susceptible to addiction later in life.

Gambling addiction, recognized as a mental health diagnosis, can result in severe consequences including legal troubles, financial instability, job loss, relationship breakdowns, and even suicidal thoughts. To support those facing gambling problems, New York State offers resources and assistance through the 1-877-8-HOPENY helpline, texting HOPENY (467369), or visiting