“Minor” lottery issues are not very small problems, issues, or situations with lotteries, but minors as in those young people below the age of majority for their state, province, or country.
When it comes to gambling, especially with lotteries, much debate and opinion is espoused by people on both sides of the issues of minors and gambling and the eventual addiction to lotteries.
However, it is a fact that minors who start to gamble at an early age may become problem gamblers later in life.
In fact, the evidence is so strong that almost all gaming jurisdictions around the world work to prevent minors from buying or redeeming lottery tickets.
When children see their parents or other adults buy tickets, or watch a movie or tv show that shows buying a lottery ticket as a way to make money or to solve all their problems, they are not mature enough yet to assess the risks of gambling.
As such, they are ill-prepared to gamble responsibly when they reach the age in which they can buy lottery tickets.
Responsible Gambling initiatives not only target adult players but also target minors who are susceptible to ads, actions, and opinions regarding gambling.
There are some children who do have a greater propensity of risk-taking behaviour.
They will see gambling as exciting and profitable and ignore all issues of the risks and negative outcomes.
Without proper guidance, they will make up their own rules and justifications to gamble, including ways to buy lottery tickets.
Unfortunately, parents are more likely to have conversations with their children about the risks and negative factors of drinking or smoking, but don’t even think to have the same type of conversations about gambling.
Various studies show that children always go to their parents first for guidance and advice on various issues. The sooner you talk to your children about gambling, the sooner you can instill understanding and responsibility in their decisions whether or not to gamble.
Parents are also the main role models in the perception of gambling. When children see their parents panicking because they have to buy lottery tickets before the retailer closes, somehow that is translated, as the purchase of lottery tickets is more important than making dinner or having family time.
With the average problem gambler starting to gamble around the age of ten years old, it is highly important that parents teach children the dangers of addictive gambling and that buying lottery tickets needs to be done in a responsible manner.
Talk to your children, explain the odds of winning and not winning the lottery, and that you play the lottery as entertainment and not a way to try to make money.
If you happen to observe any of the following behaviours in your children, it would be wise to contact your local problem gambling agency for advice on addressing the issue:
Useful responsible gambling links can be found here.