Responsible & Regulated

Know the risks: Why you shouldn’t buy lottery products for minors

by Guest Contributor

Atlantic Lottery is joining forces with lotteries around the world this holiday season to remind people that scratch tickets and other lottery products are not appropriate gifts for minors.

You can’t drive until you reach a certain age and you can’t buy alcohol or cannabis until you are 19. Similarly, gambling is another one of those age-restricted activities that young people just aren’t ready for. In Atlantic Canada, gambling products and entertainment facilities are only available to adults 19 years of age and older. Atlantic Lottery retailers and staff are required to ID anyone who looks under the age of 25.
Why? Our brains are not fully developed at a young age. Children and teenagers under the age of 19 aren’t prepared for the balance of emotion and logic required to make healthy choices regarding gambling. They are not equipped to consider the consequences of their decisions.

Research shows a connection between gambling at a young age and the potential for gambling-related concerns later in life.

What else does the research tell us? Some contributing factors to youth gambling include:

  • A significant win early in their experience
  • Gambling at an early age (often around 10 years old)
  • Exposure to parents, friends and relatives who gamble
  • Lower self-esteem

It’s important to learn the facts and related risks of gambling, encourage discussions and questions about gambling with your kids and be aware of your own gambling behaviour.

There are many alternative gift ideas that don’t include scratch tickets or lottery games. Buy ski passes, buy concert tickets, buy gift cards – but don’t buy lottery products for minors.

For more information, visit Atlantic Lottery’s Playwise site.


Ashley McGuigan is a Corporate Social Responsibility Advisor at Atlantic Lottery, based in Charlottetown, PEI. A leader in responsible gambling for more than 14 years, she works closely with both players and community partners. Ashley also leads the PlayWise team, which provides a range of services to help players make healthy, informed choices about gaming.