Player Health

Gift Responsibly this Holiday Season: Kids and Gambling Don’t Mix

BCLC Asks Adults to be #GiftSmart During Busy Holiday Season for Scratch & Win Sales

With Christmas less than a week away and the holidays as one of the most popular times for lottery sales, BCLC is reminding British Columbians to gift responsibly and remove lottery products from their holiday shopping lists for kids. 

BCLC is sharing the message as part of its annual #GiftSmart public-information campaign, which includes reminders at its 3,500 lottery retailers throughout the province as well as on social media. 

“BCLC continues to promote healthy play and raise awareness about the risks of underage gambling, including through our annual #GiftSmart campaign,” said Peter ter Weeme, BCLC’s Chief Social Purpose Officer and Vice President, Player Experience. “The research continues to demonstrate that children who have early exposure to gambling experiences are much more likely to develop a gambling problem, and although it may seem like a fun stocking stuffer for kids during this time of year, we are reminding adults to only give lottery products to those aged 19 and older.” 

Through this campaign in partnership with the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and McGill University’s International Centre for Youth Gambling, BCLC is helping to provide players with information and education about the risks associated with gifting lottery products to children as part of its overall goal of supporting healthy play. 

Research indicates that many young people have their first gambling experience at around nine to 11 years of age, and approximately 60 per cent of high-school-aged adolescents report having gambled for money in the last year. Further, 10 to 14 per cent of adolescents are at risk for developing a problem with gambling, while four to six per cent of youth presently have a serious problem with gambling. 

BCLC is encouraging adults to have open and honest conversations with children about the risks associated with gambling. Learn more about how to be #GiftSmart on, which includes resources for families, with tools, ideas and information for parents on how to start a conversation with kids about gambling.