I never would have guessed that this is a problem, but apparently it's enough of an issue for the Minnesota State Lottery to send out an advisory.

The Minnesota Lottery along with the Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance are reminding the public that giving underage children lottery tickets is generally not a great idea. They will be raising awareness about this topic throughout the December gift giving season.

Susan Sheridan Tucker, NPGA executive director, says, "A scratch-off ticket may provide momentary excitement, but underage recipients don’t have the cognitive development to discern the potential risks of gambling. This is why tickets sales are limited to adults."

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A Minnesota Student Survey from 2019 says that 2% of students claim to have problems with gambling, and 30% saying that they have gambled sometime during the previous 7 years. 7% of students say that they gamble at least once a week, that's thousands of kids throughout the state.

“While we think lottery tickets make for fun gifts for adults, they are not appropriate as a gift for minors,” says Adam Prock, executive director of the Minnesota Lottery. “The commitment of the Minnesota Lottery and so many other lotteries around the country demonstrates our interest in ensuring that lottery participation is both fun and safe.”

The Minnesota State Lottery says that studies show that the first introduction to gambling is often scratch-off tickets, and that gambling early in life can lead to serious gambling issues later in life, so it's best to keep lottery products away from children.

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