BCLC launches campaign against lottery-related Christmas gifts

The BCLC (British Columbia Lottery Corporation) has recently made a statement reminding all shoppers this coming Christmas that, for adults, lottery tickets make great stocking stuffers, but should not be given as holiday gifts to children

In order to push forth this initiative, the BCLC have started its #GiftSmart campaign, one that forms part of a much larger initiative that seeks to address certain concerns held with regards to youth gambling

In a recent press release, the BCLC have quoted the following statistical research

  • Between 10% to 14% of adolescents are susceptible to developing problematic gambling behaviors

  • Approximately 4%-6% of youths between the ages of 12 and 17 years already experience gambling-related problems

In addition to this, the BCLC stated that this statistical research indicates that individuals who experience gambling-related problems later on in life would have engaged in these activities at a much younger age

Ryan McCarthy, the BCLC Director of Player Health, made the following statement regarding this subject: 

“Early participation or exposure to gambling in childhood can increase the risk of developing a gambling problem later in life. Adults may be unaware of these associated risks, so, as part of our commitment to healthy play, it’s a priority for us to share the message that lottery products should never be gifted to kids. 

“It’s never too early to start the conversation. While kids and gambling don’t mix, many teenagers are already doing it by betting on things like a card game or by purchasing a virtual loot box.” 

In their statement, the BCLC gave some guidelines with the aim of minimizing the potential risk that gambling poses on children and adolescents: 

  • Parents ought to alter the discussions that they have with their children based on the interests of that particular child. 

  • For children interested in video games, parents ought to discuss the random nature of loot boxes and the potential dangers associated with them. 

  • Parents also ought to educate their children regarding the many signs that an individual suffering from gambling issues might show. 

  • Children often mimic others’ behavior, therefore it would be wise to set a positive example for their children. 

The #GiftSmart campaign has been stretched across North America and has been developed in collaboration with the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), as well as with McGill University’s International Centre for Youth Gambling

The #GiftSmart movement includes more than 3,400 lottery retail locations across British Colombia and takes to social media in order to spread awareness about the issues that it is tackling. 

About the authorMelanie Cazenave
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