TRENTON — The New Jersey Lottery (NJL) and the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, Inc. (CCGNJ) held a press conference to urge parents to use good judgment when making holiday gift selections for their children. During this holiday season, the NJL has joined the CCGNJ, National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), and the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University to build public awareness that lottery products are not an appropriate gift for minors.
“During the holiday season and throughout the year, the Lottery is deeply committed to the prevention of underage gambling and to responsible play. New Jersey law requires lottery purchasers to be 18 years of age or older,” said NJL Acting Executive Director James A. Carey. “Research on youth gambling has shown that the earlier children begin gambling, the more likely they are to develop gambling problems as adults. While adults recognize that a winning lottery ticket is a stroke of luck or random chance, children and teens have difficulty putting a win into perspective.”
To reinforce the campaign message discouraging the gifting of lottery tickets to minors, the Lottery has crafted a holiday advertising campaign that includes the messaging, “’Tis the season to gift responsibly. Lottery is not child’s play.” The holiday campaign ad is present on the “Responsible Play” section of the Lottery’s website.
“The New Jersey Lottery is a valuable partner with the Council in efforts to reinforce the message that parents and other adults should refrain from gifting lottery tickets to minors,” said Neva Pryor, executive director of the CCGNJ. “This holiday season, if you choose to give a lottery ticket as a gift, be sure to consider the age of the recipient and don’t give lottery tickets to children.”
The New Jersey Lottery has the distinct designation of being awarded a Level 4 Certification by the World Lottery Association, recognizing the Lottery’s planning, development and implementation of responsible gambling programs and initiatives. Since June 1999, the Lottery has participated on the Council of Compulsive Gambling’s Board of Directors. The Council’s 1-800-GAMBLER helpline number is printed on every Lottery ticket, and on all brochures and signage, and it also appears as a tagline on all of the Lottery’s radio and television advertisements. The Lottery’s website directs visitors to the Council’s site, where members of the public can get free information and help.
Since 1983, the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, Inc. has helped problem and compulsive gamblers and their families. The group was a pioneer in the compulsive gambling field and remains one of the leaders in providing professional and compassionate services to a wide range of audiences. The Council’s mission is to provide prevention, education and referral services to anyone affected by this disorder. They operate the most widely recognized gambling help number in the nation, the 1-800-GAMBLER® Helpline. The help number is now available in 20 states and offers 24-hour, immediate, confidential assistance to anyone affected by gambling problems.