The winter holidays are just days away, and the British Columbia Lottery Corporation and its GameSense specialists advise parents not to put lottery tickets into kids’ stockings. Guy Laidlaw, GameSense Advisor at Casino of the Rockies cautions that it is important for adults to remember that all lottery products are a form of gambling and should not be gifted to underage individuals.
As a state-run organization, BCLC offers responsible gambling and lottery products to the Province of B.C. It also runs PlayNow, which is the only regulated iGaming platform in the province and 100% of its proceeds are invested into the local economy. Proceeds from its operations are also used to support local organizations, groups, and communities.
Lottery Products are Still Gambling
Mr. Laidlaw reiterated that lottery products should never be gifted to children, and the message is part of BCLC’s #GiftSmart campaign. Research finds that early exposure to gambling in childhood can lead to a higher chance of developing a gambling-related issue later in life and that average problem gamblers start such activities at the age of just 10.
Furthermore, studies discovered that 10% to 14% of adolescents are already at risk of developing a problem with gambling, while 4% to 6% of the ages 12-17 are currently impacted by problem gambling. That is why Mr. Laidlaw, one of the 44 BCLC GameSense experts, advises parents to have conversations with their kids regarding the topic of gaming.
Also, the specialists said that parents should not be afraid to ask children about their experience with gambling and practice active listening during their answers. He explained that delivery is key, as kids are more receptive to the message if it is provided in a light and approachable fashion, while still covering the potential risks that can be caused when gambling stops being fun.
BCLC provides several tips on how parents can engage in such dialogue. The conversation should be tailored to the kid, as it can be about video games, and the loot boxes mechanic and its random outcome. Parents should also inform the young ones of the signs of problems, like hiding debt or skipping classes, while also leading by example, as children learn from them.
In a collaboration with the National Council on Problem Gambling and McGill University’s International Centre for Youth Gambling, BCLC is also sharing its #GiftSmart message via reminders at lottery retailers across the province and social media. The Crown corporation advised adults to skip putting lottery tickets in children’s Christmas stockings.
OLG Joins In
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has also joined in on the initiative. In a press release, OLG reiterates that all lottery products, including Instant tickets, are a form of gambling and should not be given as holiday presents to children. When buying lottery tickets as gifts, the giver should ensure that the recipient is at least 18 years of age or older.
Source: “Local GameSense advisor urges adults to gift responsibly” e-Know.ca, December 18, 2023