The times, they are a-changing. The British Columbia Lottery Corporation issued a gentle reminder to holiday shoppers and gift-givers that you're not supposed to give kids lottery products like Scratch & Win tickets. Things were different when we were kids. This is news to basically every millenial in BC who grew up finding them stuffed in their stockings and Christmas cards.

Dr. Jamie Wiebe, the Director of Player Health for BCLC said in a press release that gifting "lottery products to minors or allowing them to play Scratch & Win tickets may seem harmless, but exposure to gambling at a young age may have unintended consequences.” 

It makes sense when you think about it. Scratch & Win tickets are essentially just gambling.

“It is important that parents and adults understand the impact associated with underage gambling,” said Dr. Weibe.

If you remember asking your parents for a nickel, loonie or toonie so you could scratch off the tinny covering of the tickets, then this news could come as a bit of a surprise to you. 

But according to the BCLC, research has suggested a connection between underage gambling and related problems later in adulthood.

Kids and teens don't really have the same judgement as adults and so they're not able to, firstly, understand how gambling works, and secondly, grasp the risks it can involve.

Even though scratch tickets could seem like good, clean, harmless fun, it's better to give kids something else for the holidays. 

They literally do not have the "cognitive function required for risk assessment" yet, according to the BCLC. 

That means they make a questionable gift, stocking stuffer or treat tucked into a card for kids.

If you have kids on your Christmas lists, then you might be better off getting them a trinket from Toys 'R' Us than giving them a handful of scratch tickets.

You can find out more about BCLC's #Giftsmart program on their website.


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