Roanoke, Virginia – No matter how it is celebrated, the holiday season is often a time of joy, generosity, and gratitude. Christmas is considered the nicest period of the year and also the busiest one when millions of people rush to get home on time to celebrate it with their families. Traditionally, Christmas is associated with the giving and receiving of gifts.
There are many different gifts that are commonly given for Christmas, and unpacking the gifts is certainly the most exciting part of the holiday for the children. The most common gifts for children are toys, such as dolls, action figures, and building sets; games and puzzles; books; and clothing. Other popular gift ideas for children might include sports equipment, electronics, and craft kits. Ultimately, the most common gifts for children will depend on the interests and needs of the individual child and their preferences.
In recent years, however, a growing number of people have been buying lottery tickets as Christmas gifts. This trend is now becoming a concern because lottery tickets are given as gifts not only to adults but also to children. In a partnership with the North Carolina Education Lottery and the North Carolina Problem Gambling Program, the Virginia Lottery and the Virginia Problem Gambling Program warn adults that lottery tickets are not appropriate gifts for minors, even though they are considered interesting gifts for adults. In addition, giving lottery tickets to people younger than 18 is against the law.
The National Council on Problem Gambling and the International Center for Youth Gambling and High-Risk Behaviors launched the ‘Gift Responsibly 2022’ annual prevention campaign this year, and more than 100 lotteries and organizations worldwide have joined the initiative in an effort to advise adults not to involve minors in lottery-like games.
“The earlier in life a young person starts to gamble, the more likely he or she is to develop gambling problems later on,” said Carolyn Hawley, Ph.D., VCPG President. “So during this time of giving, please remember that lottery tickets are not toys. They are for adults only.”
“Youth problem gambling has emerged as a significant and growing public health issue,” said Keith Whyte, the council’s executive director. “Our message is a simple one: lottery tickets are never appropriate gifts for children.”
The state of Virginia has always been a part of the nationwide campaign to raise awareness about gambling. This has been going on for 15 years. The campaign has three main goals:
- Educate communities on the dangers of buying lottery tickets for children.
- Raise awareness about the risks of youth gambling.
- Support responsible gambling practices while remaining neutral about legalized gambling.
To learn more about the campaign, please visit this link.