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Giving lotto tickets to kids not worth the gamble


McGill centre for youth gambling teams up with lottery corporations for annual awareness campaign

With the holiday season in full swing, the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University, in conjunction with Loto-Québec, the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) and Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), is reminding parents not to gamble with their children’s future by giving them lottery tickets as gifts.

“We know that playing the lottery at a young age can increase the potential for problem gambling later in life,” said Dr. Jeffrey Derevensky, co-director of the centre and a renowned expert on problem gambling among young people.

In past studies conducted by Dr. Derevensky and his team, approximately 70-80% of Canadian adolescents reported having gambled for money in the preceding 12 months, with as many as 30% gambling on a weekly basis. Many problem gamblers reported taking up gambling during childhood, often with family members, as early as ages 9-10.

Research findings such as these, coupled with the growing concern of adolescent problem gambling in general, prompted the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors to partner with lottery corporations to raise public awareness of the issue of underage gambling. This is the fourth consecutive year McGill has partnered with Loto-Québec, and the second with ALC, to spread this message. OLG has joined the partnership for the first time this year.

Established in 1992, McGill University’s International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors has been involved in research and treatment, as well as the training of researchers and professionals concerned with youth gambling and other high-risk adolescent activities.

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Allison Flynn
Media Relations Office
McGill University


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