With Christmas just around the corner, the Problem Gambling Foundation wants to remind parents that lottery tickets and scratch cards are not appropriate gifts for children.
Graeme Ramsey, Problem Gambling Foundation CEO, says research shows that the earlier children are exposed to gambling, the more likely they are to develop gambling problems as adults.
“Many parents don’t realise it is illegal to purchase Instant Kiwi tickets on behalf of an under 18-year-old and purchase them as gifts or use them as stocking stuffers for children,” he says.
Young people are often first introduced to gambling with family members and Graeme Ramsey says this can lead youth to believe that gambling is harmless.
“We urge adults not to give lottery tickets and scratch cards to children at any time as it contributes to the normalisation of gambling,” he says.
The University of Auckland’s Youth'07 survey of the health and wellbeing of secondary school students in New Zealand, found that of the 9107 students surveyed that had gambled in the last year, 44.7 percent of them had played Instant Kiwi scratchies.
“We want to encourage parents and adults to send out responsible messages to young people and buy something else to put in their Christmas stockings,” he says.