The Colorado Lottery will be the highest-level participant in the 2022 Gift Responsibly Campaign. It is joining lotteries and community organizations worldwide, specifically to focus on raising awareness about the risks of buying lottery tickets for children.
The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University organized the campaign.
Tom Seaver, the director of the Colorado Lottery, said:
“The Colorado Lottery is committed to using all of the industry’s best practices available to help keep our players safe while they enjoy the entertaining games of chance that are so critical in supporting and enhancing Colorado’s incredible outdoors spaces and schools. We are committed to supporting responsible gaming all year long.”
The International Center for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University has been leading research to identify and understand factors related to youth gambling issues for over 20 years.
How does the 2022 Gift Responsibly Campaign raise awareness?
The campaign raises youth gambling awareness through November and December by encouraging age-appropriate play. The Colorado Lottery will do this through:
- Communication with retailers
- Signs in lottery retail stores
- Public service announcements
- Social media
The campaign doesn’t just aim to raise awareness for children but for adults, too. If someone gives lottery tickets to youth during the holidays, it’s a form of gambling exposure. Gambling problems are more likely to arise in those exposed to gambling during childhood. It’s important that educated adults are aware of the risks involved.
According to Keith Whyte, the NCPG executive director, youth gambling is a growing public health issue. He believes no one should give lottery tickets to children as gifts.
“We are very appreciative of the Colorado Lottery’s efforts to educate adults and retailers about the potential consequences associated with underage lottery play. The evidence clearly shows that exposure to gambling as a youth increases the probability of gambling problems later in life.
Regardless of what time of year it is, adults should find gift options for children other than lottery tickets.”
Colorado takes responsible gambling seriously
Beyond its contributions to the 2022 Gift Responsibly Campaign, Colorado has other organizations helping combat gambling addiction and promote healthy relationships with the industry.
The Problem Gambling Coalition of Colorado and the Colorado Gaming Association oversee the Colorado self-exclusion program. This modified program has online and retail sportsbooks that redirect players to a statewide database.
The database distributes the information to all 26 sportsbook operators in the state. And in turn, cut off gambling access to those players. This could also result in exclusion from those same operators in other states where they legally operate.
The Colorado Division of Gaming offers grants to qualifying nonprofit organizations and state agencies to provide funding to:
- Encourage prevention
- Fund treatment, recovery, data and research
- Increase awareness
- Provide educational programs
- Strengthen available counseling
To get more information on responsible gambling help in Colorado, Problem Gambling Colorado offers a 24-hour confidential hotline. This organization works with the NCPG.
The phone number for Problem Gambling Colorado is 1-800-522-4700.
About the National Council on Problem Gambling
The NCPG is based in Washington, DC, with a neutral stance on gambling legalization. It’s the only nonprofit organization in the country seeking to dampen the effects gambling addiction can have in communities.
If you or someone you know is struggling with gambling addiction, call or text 1-800-GAMBLER or visit www.1800GamblerChat.org for free and confidential help, 24/7.