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Virginia Lottery: Don’t give lottery tickets as gifts to minors, because we’re conflicted

virginia lotteryState lotteries are a hard thing. The people who run them want you to buy tickets, but there’s still a certain ickiness to the whole enterprise, because of the gambling thing.

Which gets us to how the Virginia Lottery and the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling are reminding people that we shouldn’t give lottery tickets as a gift to minors, and that in fact there’s a state law prohibiting it.

Basically, don’t corrupt the kids; they can corrupt themselves when they hit 18.

“We work diligently at the Virginia Lottery to market our products responsibly and ethically,” said Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kelly Gee. “When giving lottery tickets as gifts, it is important to consider the age of the recipient.”

The Lottery has produced a new PSA, “Bad Gift Ideas,” and is using social media and paid media to help get the message about not corrupting kids with lottery tickets across to Virginians.

“The earlier in life a young person starts to gamble, the more likely he or she is to develop gambling problems later on,” said Carolyn Hawley, Ph. D., VCPG president. “So, during this time of giving, please remember that lottery tickets are not toys. They are for adults only.”

The Virginia Lottery also works with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to help raise awareness of problem gambling and gambling addiction, as well as what resources are available in Virginia.

The conflict here is obvious.

Chris Graham

In addition to being the editor of Augusta Free Press, I've written seven books, including Poverty of Imagination and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, both published in 2019, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For my commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to my YouTube page, youtube.com/chrisgrahamAFP. Want to reach me? Try [email protected].