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News Release
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Gift Responsibly: Lottery Tickets Aren't Child's Play (Photo) - 12/06/18

Think twice before giving teens lottery tickets this holiday season. 

Lottery tickets are a tempting stocking stuffer for kids and teenagers. However, teenagers who gamble are more likely to participate in risky behaviors and develop gambling problems.

Marion County Health Promotion & Prevention Services is participating in the Holiday Lottery Responsible Gaming Campaign this season to encourage parents to gift responsibility and raise awareness of gambling effects on youth.

In Oregon, gambling among teenagers is associated with risky behaviors. According to the Oregon Council on Problem Gambling (OCPG), teenagers who gamble have higher rates of alcohol use and binge drinking, tobacco use, marijuana use, and suicidal thoughts.

Additionally, researchers have reported a link between gambling as a child and developing a gambling problem as an adult. The National Council on Problem Gambling Executive Director Keith Whyte explained that research shows that some people with a gambling disorder report beginning gambling during childhood – as early as 9 or 10 years of age.

Problem gambling and addiction is also a risk among teenagers who gamble. Problem gambling is defined as gambling often despite negative personal, social, or financial consequences. An estimated one in twenty-five Oregon teenagers experience problem gambling, higher than the adult population.

“The Holiday Lottery Responsible Gaming Campaign is a great way to encourage responsible gambling and help keep the fun in the holidays by gifting lottery tickets responsibly to adults,” said Whyte. “We believe responsible gambling is a positive approach to minimizing gambling-related harm and therefore maximizing public benefit.”

Marion County Health Promotion & Prevention Services is a division of the Marion County Health & Human Services Department (MCHHS). It works with community partners in Marion County to promote good health and prevent disease to achieve MCHHS’s vision: to ensure Marion County is a vibrant community where all people have opportunities to live healthy, purposeful lives.

If you would like to learn more about the Holiday Lottery Responsible Gaming Campaign and how you can get involved, please email evention@co.marion.or.us">MCHDPrevention@co.marion.or.us or call 503-981-2491. If you or a loved one has a problem with gambling, the Oregon Problem Gambling Helpline can help at no cost. Trained Professionals are available 24/7 for free by calling 1-877-MY-LIMIT, texting 503-713-6000, or by visiting www.OPGR.org.

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