NY Lottery urges last-minute holiday shoppers to gift responsibly

ALBANY, NY — The New York State Gaming Commission’s Division of Lottery today renewed its appeal to Gift Responsibly this holiday season; advising last-minute holiday shoppers to avoid gifting Lottery tickets to those under the legal purchase age. The reminder marks the fifth year the Lottery has joined with the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and other Lotteries nationwide to promote industry efforts to curb underage gaming and encourage responsible play.

As part of its affiliation with New York’s Responsible Play Partnership (RPP), the Lottery works year-round with the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and the New York Council on Problem Gambling to build awareness about problem gambling and promote access to treatment for those in need.

Earlier this year, the NCPG honored the New York Lottery and its RPP partners with the 2018 Holiday Responsible Gaming Campaign Award, citing the campaign’s relatable presentation of a powerful message: Lottery tickets are not child’s play.

The award-winning Public Service Announcement – available in English and Spanish – is presently running in 10 media markets statewide.

Commission Acting Executive Director Ronald Ochrym said, “The Gaming Commission remains committed to supporting the Gift Responsibly campaign and other Responsible Gaming initiatives so that all New Yorks can make the best, most informed decisions about the Lottery products they purchase for themselves and others.”

New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said, “While we may think giving Lottery tickets to minors is a fun and harmless gift, it is sending the wrong message. The earlier a young person is introduced to gambling, the more likely they are to become problem gamblers as adults – or even sooner.”

New York Council on Problem Gambling Executive Director Jim Maney said, “Underage gambling is a serious problem and we discourage youth involvement in any form of gambling, including Lottery scratch-off tickets. The Council is pleased to support RPP efforts to reduce problem gambling.”

Pursuant to N. Y. Tax Law§ 1610(a), it is illegal to sell a Lottery product to underage persons (in general, 18 years of age; 21 years of age where alcohol is served).