During this holiday season gift-givers will often purchase lottery scratch-off cards as a stocking stuffer or to add to a greeting card. Scratch-off cards can be a gift that has the possibility of it becoming an even bigger gift. 

Lottery tickets, however, shouldn’t be gifted to minors. This is why the Holiday Lottery Responsible Gifting Campaign returns every December to encourage people to give responsibly. The campaign raises awareness about the risks of youth gambling. As well as, educates communities on the dangers of buying lottery tickets for children. Sieda Behavioral Health and Treatment Prevention know the importance of warning others of the risks of underage lottery play. In Iowa, the legal age to purchase lottery tickets is 21.  

Facts of Concern*:

  •   Early experiences with gambling, including scratch-off lottery tickets, increase the risk of developing gambling problems later in life. 
  •   Large numbers of young people report having their first gambling experience around 9-11 years of age. 
  •   Adult problem gamblers report gambling onset between the ages of 10-19.
  •   80% of high-school students report having gambled for money in the past year. 
  •   Lottery scratch-off tickets are a possible gateway to other gambling activities. 

For instance, data from the 2018 Iowa Youth Survey of 11th-grade students in southeast Iowa shows that 39.7% of males and 13.2% of females had gambled for money or possessions.  

Likewise, Sieda Community Action Behavioral Health and Treatment Services offer Gambling Prevention Services. Call them at 641-683-6747.


*Data retrieved from the National Council on Problem Gambling