Why aren’t lottery tickets an appropriate gift for those under the legal age?

Like many other products, lottery games are restricted to adults because children lack the judgment to use them appropriately.  Neuroscientists have long known that that the part of the brain that allows us to make responsible judgments is not fully developed in adolescents, making it more difficult for a child to properly assess the risks associated with gambling.  While an adult will likely recognize that a winning ticket is nothing more than a stroke of luck or random chance, a child or teen will often have more difficulty putting a win into perspective.

Research on youth gambling has shown that the earlier children begin gambling, the more likely they are to develop gambling problems as adults.  While most children who receive lottery tickets do not develop gambling problems, research has also found that those who do receive lottery tickets as gifts are more likely to develop a severe problem than those who do not.  Finally, researchers have also learned that for children and adolescents, lottery games can act as a gateway to more problematic forms of gambling.

For most people gambling is simply entertainment, but it is entertainment that comes with a degree of risk.  When a lottery ticket is given as a gift by a trusted parent or other family member, a child is likely to interpret the gift as saying “this is a safe thing for you to do.”  We urge parents not to send this message and instead look for holiday gifts that are more age-appropriate.  In the event someone else gives a ticket to your child, use it as an opportunity to talk to him or her about the risks associated with gambling.  Not sure how to have that conversation?  Visit http://youthgambling.mcgill.ca/Gambling2/en/parents/whatparentsdo.php to help you get started.

The 2016 Holiday Campaign, a joint corporate social responsibility initiative of the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and our Centre,  has attained a record number of lottery  participants!  We welcome new lottery partners both in the United States and internationally!  Let’s keep the momentum strong and see if we can reach an even greater number of lottery participants before the official press release date of December 8, 2016.  Has your lottery joined? If not, please contact  Lynette Gilbeau (McGill University) or Sushmita Upadhaya (NCPG).

WLA Endorses the Lottery Holiday Campaign!

Posted: September 29, 2016 in News

Thank you to the World Lottery Association (WLA) for their endorsement of the Lottery Holiday Campaign. This will mark the ninth year that the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University and the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) have partnered with lotteries in North America and around the world to share the message that lottery tickets should not be purchased as holiday gifts for children. This widely supported corporate social responsibility campaign is also endorsed by the European Lotteries Association (EL) and NASPL. We are confident that the WLA endorsement will increase the global reach of this initiative!

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It is with great pleasure that we announce that the recipient of the 2016 Durand Jacobs Award is Halley Pontes for his paper entitled “The Conceptualisation and Measurement of DSM-5 Internet Gaming Disorder: The Development of the IGD-20 Test.” The Durand Jacobs Award recognizes outstanding work related to the psychology of addictive behaviors, and is dedicated to the late Dr. Durand Jacobs’ lifelong efforts to help mentor students. Congratulations on behalf of all of us at our Centre!

Daily Fantasy Sports on Mock Trial

Posted: June 16, 2016 in News

At the 16th International Conference on Gambling & Risk Taking, Dr. Derevensky participated in a “Mock” trial concerning whether daily fantasy sports (DFS) sites should be regulated under existing gaming laws.  Michigan gaming attorney Robert Stocker presented information that the answer to this question is “yes” while Jennifer Roberts, an adjunct professor at UNLV was assigned the task of arguing that existing laws should not be applied to DFS.  Dr. Derevensky  provided testimony surrounding the needs to safeguard the public and particularly youth while Keith Whyte, Executive Director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, indicated that his organization has created guidelines to minimize the risks associated with DFS.

The complete article in the Las Vegas Sun can be found here:

http://lasvegassun.com/news/2016/jun/10/social-harms-daily-fantasy-sports-mock-trial/

 

The Importance of Prevention

Posted: April 28, 2016 in News

In the months of March and April, Centre staff delivered gambling prevention workshops at local elementary and high schools.

Once again, our Centre participated in the Partners in Prevention initiative, a collaborative partnership between the Lester B. Pearson School Board of Montreal (the largest English-language school board in Quebec) and Portage Adolescent Residential Rehabilitation Center (substance abuse rehabilitation center), Montreal Urban Police (SPVM), Risk within Reason, Pavillion Foster (substance abuse rehabilitation center), the Quebec Lung Association and the International Centre for Youth Gambling.  Annually, the Partners host events aimed at Grade 5 and 6 students and their parents to promote healthy choices in an attempt to minimize adolescent risky behaviours and mitigate some concerns related to high school entrance.  Our team participated in 3 evening presentations of the “Amazing Prevention Adventure” hosting an interactive station.

During this fun event, participants were divided into small groups and each group circulated through the partner stations every 15 minutes. For this event, the YGI team used our Gambling Jeopardy-style game.  During play, in our booth, the children were divided into 2 teams and competed to answer gambling-related questions in categories such as Fact vs. Myth, Everyone Knows That, Against All Odds and Wild Card.  The game format permits us to disseminate information and take home messages in a fun and engaging manner.  We received tremendously positive feedback from the parents, children and organizers attending the event who commented that our game was innovative, interactive and fun.

We are honored to work with our tremendous partners who share a common goal of information dissemination and promote the importance of early prevention initiatives.

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March 8 is Gambling Disorder Screening Day

Posted: February 18, 2016 in News

On March 8, 2016, the Cambridge Health Alliance’s Division on Addiction and Outpatient Addiction Services are launching a Gambling Disorder Screening Day as part of the Cambridge Health Alliance Readiness for Gambling Expansion (CHARGE) Initiative. The Division is helping the Cambridge Health Alliance launch a pilot screening program at its Outpatient Addiction Service, Somerville, Massachusetts, as well as other organizations in Massachusetts and across the nation.

We picked this date because March is National Problem Gambling Awareness Month. Brief screening for Gambling Disorder is an essential part of increasing awareness and helping people who have gambling problems.

Download our screening toolkit materials to host a screening day at your organization here:

What is Gambling Disorder?

Why Screen for Gambling Disorder?

Brief Biosocial Gambling Screen (BBGS) Description

Cambridge Health Alliance Gambling Disorder Resources & Referral

Read more:http://www.divisiononaddiction.org/CHARGE.htm#ixzz40XDniXyZ