Share and Follow
LOTTERY officials have warned parents to refrain from gifting tickets to their children, as it would technically break the law.
The Colorado Lottery stressed the message in a statement on Wednesday to raise awareness about increased gambling rates in the state.
Tom Seaver, Director of the Colorado Lottery, acknowledged that lottery tickets offer an easy and fun Christmas stocking stuffer idea for families, per Colorado Springs CBS affiliate KKTV.
Even so, Seaver noted it’s against the law for those under 21 to gamble.
“The message is pretty straightforward. We believe lottery tickets make great gifts, but only for adults,” he told the outlet.
“Hopefully, it’s more preventative actually than trying to be a solution because I think what we’re seeing is obviously a great increase in the amount of gambling that’s available in Colorado.”
“It’s been increasing every year and the visibility of it has been increasing every year,” Seaver continued.
Colorado Lottery officials said that new data concluded the earlier children or teens are exposed to gambling in life, the more likely they are to develop a gambling problem down the road.
Around 60 to 80 percent of high schoolers in the Centennial State reported they gambled for money during a 2022 survey from the Problem Gambling Coalition of Colorado.
Seaver noted that the numbers coincide with kids’ curiosity and desire to do what adults do.
They watch parents or other adults they see scratch-off tickets, which can be fun for many, and latch on to that process as a typical occurrence.
“It’s like any other behavior. Young people emulate what they see from the adults, and they want to do what the adults do,” Seaver explained to KKTV.
“Scratching off scratch tickets is fun — picking numbers is fun.”
“Inherently, there’s nothing wrong, but it’s just the idea that it gets them into the mindset that this is a normal thing, and they should be very cautious about exposing their children to gambling,” the director warned.
Throughout December, the Colorado Lottery said it plans to continually raise awareness about the risks of youth gambling through posts on social media and public service announcements.
It also told the outlet that it would work with retailers to create in-store signage about the potential dangers.
The Colorado Department of Revenue also issued a stark warning on its website about the dangers and punishments those under 21 could face if caught gambling underage.
Under the heading “It’s Not Worth the Gamble,” the department explained that teens could face an arrest or severe fines along with the risk of gambling problems later in life.
If convicted, an underage Colorado resident could have the incident go on their permanent record as well.
“Anyone under 21 years of age may not watch others gamble, participate, play, place wagers, or collect winnings, whether personally or through an agent, in or from any limited gaming game or slot machine,” the site read.
“The Division of Gaming is working to prevent underage gaming and lingering through education and communication.”
Flyers were also included for casinos and other establishments to be made aware of their responsibility in preventing those under 21 from gambling at their locations.
Remember to gamble responsibly
A responsible gambler is someone who:
- Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
- Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
- Never chase their losses
- Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry, or depressed
- National Council on Problem Gambling – https://www.ncpgambling.org/
- Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org
For help with a gambling problem, call the National Gambling Helpline on 1-800-522-4700 or go to ncpgambling.org/chat