Southwest Florida Online News: Gambling Council Warns Parents On Lottery Ticket Gifts

Southwest Florida News Online
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The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, in partnership with the National Council on Problem Gambling, is urging parents and adults to determine what gifts might be best for children this holiday season, and for adults to be reminded that certain games and forms of entertainment, such as lottery tickets and scratch offs, are not harmless activities. Research findings show a direct relationship with receiving lottery tickets and scratch offs during childhood with risky, problematic gambling later in life.Each year parents may choose to buy video games, while some may place lottery tickets or scratch offs in a holiday card or stocking stuffer. However, while adults may believe these options appear harmless, it is essential to keep the following in mind:• Some video games contain gambling like features, so it’s essential to research the item prior to purchasing.• Lottery games are never appropriate for minors and equally important, youth are unaware of the associated risks of gambling.At times minors are gaining access to gambling because parents and other unknowing adults are providing entry.  The legal gambling age is 18 , but Florida prevalence research revealed 18.5% of adolescents ages 13-17 reported purchasing lottery tickets in their lifetime and 12.5% within the past year. In addition, the study found:• Lifetime participation rates for gambling neared 70%.• Over 40% reported gambling in the past year and 11.5% identified as weekly gamblers.• Adolescent problem gamblers also had much higher rates of alcohol, drug, and tobacco use.Florida schools still do not educate children about gambling addiction, limiting instruction to alcohol and substance abuse.

If you are concerned about your own, a child or another loved one’s gambling, help is available 24/7. Contact to 888-ADMIT-IT, is confidential and multilingual, and can secure the assistance needed. The Problem Gambling HelpLine may be reached by phone (888-ADMIT-IT), text (321-978--0555), live chat (, email ([email protected]) or on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.