With the holiday season here, top New York officials are telling adults to never buy a certain gift for children.

The New York State Gaming Commission's Division of Lottery is making a request for Empire State residents this holiday season.

Don’t Gift Lottery Tickets to Youths this Holiday Season


The agency suggests New Yorkers never buy scratch-off lottery tickets for kids as gifts.

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“Many times, a child’s first exposure to gambling comes in the form of a gifted lottery ticket from a well-meaning adult who may be unaware of the associated risks,” Gaming Commission Chair Brian O’Dwyer stated in a press release. “We encourage age-appropriate gifts this holiday season and throughout the year and thank our partners across the country in helping to spread the message.”

Youth Gambling Is A "Public Health Issue" In New York

Teenage school kids smiling to camera in school corridor

The National Council on Problem Gambling and the International Center for Youth Gambling Problem say youth gambling is a public health issue.

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Officials are looking to raise public awareness about the risks associated with youth gambling.

Youth Gambling Is A "Growing Concern" In The Empire State

Michael Blann

The National Council on Problem Gambling reports that "youth problem gambling is a growing concern" because:

  • Many young people report their first gambling experience occurs around 9-11 years of age.
  • Approximately 60 percent of high-school-aged adolescents report having gambled for money during the past year.
  • Nearly 15% of adolescents are at risk for developing a problem with gambling.
  • Around 5% currently have a serious problem with gambling.

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"The New York Lottery is committed to providing players with a range of fun, entertaining games in a socially responsible manner. Those seeking help can visit NYProblemGamblingHelp.org or call New York State’s confidential HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or text HOPENY (467369)," officials said in a press release.

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Gallery Credit: Jennnifer Billock

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