This seems like common sense, but in 2020 you just never know.

Each year the Minnesota lottery joins up with Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance (NPGA) to encourage people to play the lottery responsibly, and raise awareness for underage lottery play. Susan Sheridan Tucker is the NPGA executive director, and shared this statement with Bring Me The News:

A scratch-off ticket may provide momentary excitement, but underage recipients don’t have the cognitive development to discern the potential risks of gambling. This is why tickets sales are limited to adults. When a trusted adult provides a ticket to a minor, it normalizes the activity as an acceptable practice.

Luckily, numbers are rather low for students in the state who might have gambling problems. In a survey, 0.5% of students had indicated "possible disordered gambling," and 2% said they had problems with gambling. These numbers are indicative of roughly 2,000 students throughout Minnesota.

Overall, lottery officials and NPGA are just trying to get the message across that scratch-offs and lottery tickets aren't good gifts for minors and can cause more harm than probably intended with youth's developing minds.

If you are worried someone in your life has a gambling problem, here are the eight signs to look out for:

  1. Increased frequency of gambling activity
  2. An increased amount of money gambled
  3. Gambling for longer periods of time than originally planned
  4. Bragging about wins, but not talking about losses
  5. Pressuring others for money as financial problems arise
  6. Lying about how money is spent
  7. Escaping to other excesses (alcohol, drugs, sleep, etc.)
  8. Denying there is a problem

If you need help with a gambling problem call the Minnesota gambling help hotline at 1-800-333-4673 (HOPE).

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