The 2017 Holiday Campaign is Here!!

Posted: September 20, 2017 in News

The 2017 Holiday Campaign is in full swing!!

The Holiday season is approaching quickly and we are beginning another year of our annual corporate social responsibility Holiday Campaign. This will mark the 10th 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 endorsed by the World Lottery Association (WLA) and NASPL.


It is with great pleasure that we announce that the recipient of the 2017 Durand Jacobs Award is Christina Rash for her paper entitled “Self-generated motives for not gambling among young adult non-gamblers.” 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!

Spring and early summer are times of celebrations and relaxation. Graduations, summer holidays and birthdays make the season memorable. At any time of the year, especially for important celebrations, it is important to keep a person’s age in mind when purchasing lottery products as gifts. Lottery products are for adults. Give responsibly all year round and enjoy the memories and relaxation!

Preventing Adolescent Risky Behaviors

Posted: April 26, 2017 in News

In the months of March and April, Centre staff delivered gambling prevention workshops at local 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 the Quebec Lung Association, Risk within Reason, Pavillion Foster (substance abuse rehabilitation center), 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 behaviors 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.

On March 14, 2017, 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.

Although the Division supports year-round screening for gambling-related problems, Screening Day is an international movement designed to support providers in the identification of Gambling Disorder. Gambling Disorder leads to financial, emotional, social, occupational, and physical harms, yet many cases of Gambling Disorder go undetected, due to limited assessment for this problem. Screening Day addresses the imperative to detect gambling-related problems as early as possible, and the Division encourages all organizations and providers to participate in this annual event.

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.


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The International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University invites submissions to the 2017 Durand Jacobs Award competition, to be awarded to the best graduate student paper related to the psychology of addictive behaviors. This annual award is dedicated to Dr. Durand Jacobs’ lifelong desire to help mentor students. Published and/or publishable papers will be considered by the selection committee, comprised of an international panel of experts in the field. The recipient will receive an award plaque and their work will be featured in the Youth Gambling International newsletter. Graduate students from all related disciplines are encouraged to submit their papers by April 1, 2017.

Please submit all entries electronically to
If you have any questions, please direct them to:
Lynette Gilbeau by email, or telephone: (514) 398-4438.

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 to help you get started.