N.C. Lottery: Tickets make great last minute gifts, just not for kids

Lottery tickets make great last minute gifts, but not for children. That’s the message the North Carolina Education Lottery and the North Carolina Problem Gambling Program are asking the public to help share this holiday season.

“As we’ve seen from past winner stories, playing the lottery has become part of North Carolina culture,” said Mark Michalko, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “Many families in our state give lottery tickets as gifts during the holiday season. We want to keep that tradition alive, but also prevent lottery tickets from ending up in the hands of minors.”

To help spread the message, the Education Lottery and the North Carolina Problem Gambling Program are joining more than 50 lotteries and organizations around the world in an annual holiday prevention campaign, “Lottery tickets aren’t child’s play.”

“We know that some who develop a gambling problem report their first experience came when they were young,” said Smith Worth, state administrator of the N.C. Problem Gambling Program. “That’s why this campaign is so important. Be partners with us and the North Carolina Education Lottery in helping to remind folks that lottery games are not for children under 18.”

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.

The lottery’s efforts in promoting responsible play are part of its corporate social responsibility program and are commitments the lottery made as it achieved the highest level of responsible gaming certification recognized internationally. The Level 4 accreditation from the World Lottery Association attested that the lottery has implemented responsible gaming practices into its day-to-day operations.

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.