During this holiday season, gift-givers will gift lottery scratch-off cards as a stocking stuffer or add them 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. The Gift Responsibly Campaign, previously known as the Holiday Lottery Responsible Gambling Campaign, encourages people to give responsibly. The campaign raises awareness about the risks of youth gambling. As well as educate communities on the dangers of buying lottery tickets for children. Sieda Prevention knows 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 for 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. 

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.

If you or a loved one is experiencing problems because of gambling, contact Sieda Behavioral Health and Treatment Services at 641-683-6747. They can answer questions and get you the help you and your family need.

*Data retrieved from the National Council on Problem Gambling