Scratch-Offs: NOT Appropriate Gifts for Youth! Posted On

The holiday season is in full swing.  You can hear it in nostalgic holiday music, you can see it in neighborhoods decorated in lights, and you can feel it when you visit stores flooded with shoppers eager to get their holiday shopping done.  Shoppers are looking for great gifts, and tokens of appreciation as stocking stuffers.  For many, scratch-offs may be a common gift, but scratch-offs are not appropriate gifts for youth under the age of 18. 

“Scratch-offs are NOT appropriate gifts for youth.”

Scratch-offs are not intended for youth and are not appropriate gifts for them.  Research shows that the human brain does not fully develop until later in life, which is why NYS law does not allow for youth under the age of 18 to purchase lottery tickets.  Scratch-offs can act as a gateway ticket to a future gambling disorder. 

Many people struggling with problem gambling, or seeking treatment for gambling disorder, state that they were exposed to gambling at an early age of 10 years old or younger.  They were exposed to the rush of winning, or the anticipation of winning, and have struggled with that feeling ever since.  We know that people are looking for fun gifts for kids, but scratch-off tickets can lead to problem gambling in the future.  

Help keep youth safe. 

While you’re out shopping for gifts and helping others do the same, please keep in mind that Scratch-off tickets are not intended for youth.  If you’re looking for gifts that will offer excitement, board games can offer fun through the collaboration or competition youth looking for.  There are also some specialty shops that offer educational gifts, which can include science projects, architecture projects, and art projects.  Most stores, especially this time of year, will be happy to assist you in finding that great gift you’re looking for that can range from a smaller stocking stuffer to a larger sized gift at the right low price.  Ideas can range from candy and cookies to yo-yos and Rubix cubes to key chains and specialized pens.   

“Holidays are about being with loved ones.” 

Thank you for helping to keep youth healthy by selecting appropriate gifts and activities. Remember that the holidays are about being with loved ones.  Gifts are exciting and can be a great way to show that we’re thinking of one another, but they should be age-appropriate and secondary to the gift of time together.  Have a very healthy, peaceful holiday season with those who bring you joy.