Call or Text the Maryland Problem Gambling Helpline: 1-800-GAMBLER

'Tis The Season for Gifting Responsibly

At this gift-giving time of year, lottery scratch off tickets are a popular and easy gift to slip into a stocking or a present. Holiday lottery tickets are designed to be festive, boasting bright colors and clever themes, and creating conversation and competition among family members who receive them.

Many view gifting lottery tickets as harmless fun for any age that adds a touch of excitement in the anticipation of possibly winning money. However, research shows that children who gamble – including the use of lottery scratch off tickets – are four times more likely to become problem gamblers (Felsher, et al., 2010).

Lottery Tickets Aren't Child's Play

There are reasons why the minimum age is 18 to buy a lottery ticket in the State of Maryland:

This season, gift responsibly – give a child a gift, not a ticket. Avoid gifting lottery tickets to any child under 18. And have the conversation with your family about the risks of gambling.

If you, or any one you know, is struggling with problems due to gambling behavior, call 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) for assistance to resources on the road to recovery.


Felsher, Jennifer.  Lottery Participation by Youth with Gambling Problems:  Are Lottery Tickets a Gateway to Other Gambling Venues?  International Gambling Studies, November 2004, 4 (2): 109-125.  DOI: 10.1080/14459790412331296956

Maryland Department of Health, Youth Risk Behavior Survey/Youth Tobacco Survey (YRBS/YTS) 2018-2019.

National Council on Problem Gambling.   Responsible Gambling Lottery Campaign.

Tracy, J K, Nicholas Schluterman, Ph.D..  Statewide Gambling Prevalence in Maryland: 2020.  University of Maryland, Baltimore funded by the Maryland Department of Health, Behavioral Health Administration.

Do you or someone you know have problems with gambling behavior? Help and Hope is available right now, it’s free, confidential and 24/7. 

Call or Text the Maryland Problem Gambling Helpline TODAY! (1-800-426-2537)

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