The Virginia Lottery and the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling (VCRG) are teaming up to remind adults to gift responsibly this season.
What does that mean?
“Lottery tickets are never an appropriate gift for anyone younger than 18,” the groups said in a recent advisory. “In fact, it is against state law to give lottery tickets to minors.”
The lottery and VCRG use public service announcements to drive home the point as well. Virginia casino and lottery customers might come across the “Bad Gift Ideas” campaign.
In addition, the VA Lottery created a “Play Responsibly” microsite. Virginians will find a section devoted to the gift responsibly message. Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kelly Gee explains:
“We work diligently at the Virginia Lottery to market our products responsibly and ethically. When giving lottery tickets as gifts, it is important to consider the age of the recipient.”
National group also backs ‘gift responsibly’ message
Altogether, the National Council on Problem Gambling counts 63 lottery organizations that are taking part in the gift responsibly message. NCPG Director Keith Whyte said youth problem gambling has emerged “as a significant and growing public health issue.”
“We are thrilled to have such support from the lottery community, as well as the non-lottery participants, for the 2022 Gift Responsibly Campaign as we work to minimize gambling-related harm.”
The Virginia Lottery has taken part in the nationwide public-awareness effort for 15 years.
“The earlier in life a young person starts to gamble, the more likely he or she is to develop gambling problems later on,” VCPG President Carolyn Hawley said. “So during this time of giving, please remember that lottery tickets are not toys. They are for adults only.”
Along with the VCPG, the Lottery works with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. The groups help raise awareness of problem gambling and gambling addiction, as well as what resources are available in Virginia.
If you or someone you know has a concern about gambling, please call the 24-hour helpline at 1-888-532-3500. The call is free and confidential.