Officials: If giving N.C. Lottery tickets as gifts this holiday, keep the fun for the adults


If giving lottery tickets as gifts this holiday season, please keep the fun for the adults in your life. That’s the message the N.C. Education Lottery and the N.C. Problem Gambling Program are asking the public to help share this holiday season.

“As we know from talking with lottery winners, many folks in our state give lottery tickets as gifts during the holiday season,” said Mark Michalko, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “We want to keep that tradition alive, but also prevent lottery tickets from ending up in the hands of minors. We encourage the public to join us in helping to remind folks that lottery games are not for children under 18.”

To help spread the message, the Education Lottery and the N.C. Problem Gambling Program are joining more than 80 lotteries and organizations around the world in an annual holiday prevention campaign – Gift Responsibly 2021 – organized by the National Council on Problem Gambling and the International Center for Youth Gambling and High-Risk Behaviors.

“We are very appreciative of North Carolina’s efforts to educate adults and retailers about the potential consequences associated with underage lottery play,” said Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling. “The evidence clearly shows that exposure to gambling as a youth increases the probability of gambling problems later in life.”

The lottery encourages the public to Play Smart ™ as part of commitments made when becoming one of the most responsible lotteries in the world. This accreditation from the World Lottery Association attests that the lottery has implemented responsible gaming practices into its day-to-day operations and is committed to continuous improvement of them. This is the second time the lottery has achieved this designation.

Besides supporting the holiday campaign, the Education Lottery takes steps year-round to prevent those under 18 from playing. They include:

  • Printing a “You Must Be 18 Years of Age To Play” reminder on every ticket and advertising and marketing materials.
  • Requiring scans of drivers’ licenses before accessing lottery vending machines.
  • Training lottery retailers to check IDs before selling lottery tickets.
  • Enforcing the no sales to a minor law in a partnership with state law enforcement agencies.
  • Providing $1 million a year to support the N.C. Problem Gambling Program, which provides an evidence-based gambling prevention program to middle school and high school students in the state.

For more information on the campaign, visit www.ncpgambling.org/holiday. If you or someone you care about has a problem with gambling, visit morethanagamenc.com. Play Smart™ term is a service mark of the Illinois Lottery licensed to the NCEL.

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.